BELLMORE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Police in Nassau County are investigating after a billboard promoting a LGBT Pride event was defaced.
The billboard promoting a Pride festival was found ripped in pieces at the Long Island Rail Road station in Bellmore, and the president of the LGBT Network said it wasn’t just mischief, CBS2’s Dick Brennan reported Tuesday.
“This is more than vandalism, it is hate. It is meant to sent a message of fear. It’s meant to send a message to the Long Island community of don’t come to Pride, be afraid, and it’s gonna do quite the opposite,” David Kilmnick said.
The “Pride on the Beach” celebration in late June brings tens of thousands of members of the LGBT community to Long Beach. Authorities said the billboard just went up six days ago.
“Incidents like this will not stop Pride Week. Pride Week will be going forward with the full support of local government,” Hempstead Supervisor Laura Gillen said.
But authorities said this is not the first incident. There were two others recently, including a letter threatening trouble at a pride event in Patchouge. And there were similar instances last year.
“We did receive threats that people wanted to do things to disrupt and maybe harm people at those events,” Gillen said. “We work collaboratively — LGBT and Nassau County police — and luckily nothing came of it.”
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority said the sign will be replaced and police said they are investigating, Brennan reported.
“We definitely intend to see what we can do, find evidence find video, find something to find the person who is responsible for this,” Nassa County Police Deputy Commissioner Kevin Smith said.
The MTA said it is investigating and will not tolerate discrimination. The Pride festival runs from June 21-23, in addition to other events being held in different areas during the month of June.