A Colorado man accused of tearing down LGBTQ rainbow flags by NYC’s historic Stonewall Inn during a Pride month hate crime was arrested Monday on charges police said were part of a pattern of attacks in the area.
Cops charged Patrick Murphy, 25, of Denver, with committing criminal mischief as a hate crime for the June 10 vandalism incident by the West Village national monument.
Joined by two others, Murphy and his fellow hatemongers allegedly tore down several rainbow-colored flags displayed on a fence by the Stonewall National Monument in Christopher Park on Christopher St. before fleeing east on Waverly Place.
The NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force asked for the public’s assistance in tracking down another man who tore down multiple transgender flags days later on June 15, again at around 3 a.m., at the park where an 1969 NYPD raid sparked the gay rights movement.
In a third incident police are investigating, multiple people tore down flags at the park around 8 a.m. on June 18.
Attacks on LGBTQ Americans have risen in tandem with a surge of hateful and divisive political rhetoric and legislation introduced by GOP-dominated legislatures rolling back their rights, particularly affecting transgender youth, according to the Anti-Defamation League and the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation known as GLAAD.
The groups recorded 356 such incidents between June 2022 and April 2023, according to a report issued in June.
The recent fatal shooting of a clothing store owner near San Bernardino, Calif., by a man who made disparaging remarks about the shop’s Pride flag sparked both anger and fear.
Extreme legislation sweeping Southern states criminalizing gender-affirming medical care — available for decades — has impacted about 90% of trans youth in the South, according to the Campaign for Southern Equality. Medical care has also been partially restricted for trans adults in Florida and Missouri.
In Florida, teachers have been banned from discussing gender identity and sexual orientation at all grade levels. Tens of thousands of high school students are expected to be impacted by the lesson plan restrictions that forbid AP psychology educators from discussing the influence of sex and gender on development and socialization.
Murphy was awaiting arraignment in Manhattan Criminal Court on Monday. His attorney could not be reached for comment.
Police asked anyone with information on the string of attacks by Christopher Park to contact the Crime Stoppers Hotline at (800) 577-8477 or (888) 577-4782 to speak with someone in Spanish.