Hate crime investigation underway in Pacific Palisades after Pride lifeguard towers defaced

Eric Resendiz Image
Sunday, June 25, 2023
LAPD launches hate crime case after Pride lifeguard towers defaced
Residents of the Pacific Palisades neighborhood along with tourists say they're disappointed with this act of destruction.

PACIFIC PALISADES, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The Los Angeles Police Department has launched a hate crime investigation after two lifeguard towers that were painted in honor of Pride Month were vandalized at Ginger Rogers Beach in the Pacific Palisades neighborhood.

Vandals carved into the shutters and shattered the windows of the towers, which were painted in Progress Pride colors.

The crime happened less than 48 hours after the towers were unveiled.

The towers symbolize and celebrate the LGBTQ+ community. Residents and tourists said they're disappointed with this act of destruction.

"It is very sad, especially coming from Ohio, you know, in hearing all the great things about California ... how accepting the state is," said tourist Liz Watson.

Los Angeles County unveiled the lifeguard towers to recognize Ginger Rogers Beach and how it's always been a safe space for LGBTQ+ residents, with activism work dating back to the 1940s.

Artist Kathrine Bingley of East Hollywood was commissioned to paint the towers.

She has since repainted and repaired as much damage as she could.

"It's all scratches," she said. "It's all like carved symbols. It looks like they tried to put a swastika on there," said Bingley. "I was going to, like, spackle some of it, and maybe do that, but I think just a coat of paint over it and a sealer is going to be fine."

Bingley said she identifies as a member of the LGBTQ+ community and said if this happens again, she'll be happy to help repair the towers again.

"I feel like the people who did it, they just kind of, like, shot themselves in the foot," said Bingley. "There's a lot of stuff to be angry about but this is not really the way to go. I don't think they should go to jail or anything or fined, you know, get informed, get educated."

There's still no description of a suspect or suspects.

Anyone who may have seen any suspicious activity near the towers between Saturday, June 17, and Monday, June 19, is urged to contact police.

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