Police release video of man who set rainbow flags ablaze in Harlem - Metro US

Police release video of man who set rainbow flags ablaze in Harlem

On the eve of Pride month, two rainbow flags were set on fire outside of Alibi Lounge in Harlem, a venue that prides itself on being the only black-owned LGBTQ lounge in the city. 

On Friday evening the bar tweeted out an image of their burnt pride flags, saying “some a–shole set our rainbow flags on fire! It’s a hate crime! along with the hashtags #pride and #rainbowflag.

The suspected hate crime occurred at around 12:15 a.m. in front of 2376 Adam Clayton Powell Jr Blvd. Police released video footage of the act on Wednesday morning and offered up a $2,500 reward for information leading to the suspect.

According to a report by CBS, bar owner Alexi Minko recalled the night and said, “All of a sudden someone knock on door and scream ‘fire.’… When we look out, we could see both flags completely blazing.” NBC reported that Minko stomped the flags with his feet and that the pouring rain helped put out the fire. 

No one was hurt, and there was no further damage reported. 

Cops are offering up to a $2,500 reward for anyone who might know who the criminal is. Along with the video, the NYPD hate crime office tweeted photographs of the flag burner. 

Government officials have been condemning the attacks and have offered words of support to New York’s LGBTQ community via Twitter. 

Gov. Andrew Cuomo tweeted his disgust for the crime and offered NYPD the assistance of the New York State Police’s Hate Crimes Task Force. 

Mayor de Blasio also tweeted words of encouragement, reminding New Yorkers that love is stronger than hate. 

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand also condemned the attacks via Twitter and encouraged the community to keep celebrating. 

In an interview with NBC, Minko said the police needed the burned flags for evidence, and he has since replaced them, with “Bigger, brighter, bolder flags.” 

Anyone with information about this crime should call NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477). For the Spanish language, call 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). You can also directly message them with information on Twitter at @NYPDTips. All calls are confidential. 

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