CLOVIS, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – A Clovis family said they woke up to a disturbing scene over the weekend. They said they found their rainbow LGBT pride flag torn down and burnt in their front yard.
“I look at this as sort of a hate crime just because of the message that it leaves, burnt on our lawn,” Lindsey Nagel said.
Nagel said many of her family members, including her son Liam Nagel, are members of the LBGT community. She said in July they put up the pride flag outside of their Clovis home to show support and express their identity.
However, on Sunday, Lindsey said Liam went outside to find the flag torn down and burnt.
“The flag was destroyed, half of the pole was missing,” Liam said.
He took pictures of the aftermath, showing the plastic flag melted and damaged, and the flagpole broken with half of it missing. They said it also looks like whoever was responsible also smashed the pumpkins they had in their yard as well.
“It’s definitely threatening, we’ve been here for nine years now and we haven’t really done anything wrong to anybody,” he said. “All we’ve tried to do is express ourselves. To have something burnt and thrown and torn on the ground, it just feels like a lot of people aren’t out there to listen or anything.”
Lindsey Nagel said she did call Clovis Police and that an officer did file an incident report. She also said she gave a statement, however, she won’t be pressing charges.
“They had asked me if I wanted to press charges if anyone was found, I said no. Only because it’s a $30 flag, it’s more of just getting the message out there that this is not okay. The police officer had let us know that there could be some footage on a neighbor’s surveillance, but we haven’t heard anything yet. And the police officer told us to keep our expectations in check because footage can show a little bit but not a whole lot,” she added.
Because of this, Clovis Police said they couldn’t provide an official statement on the case. A public information officer said because Nagel isn’t pressing charges, they aren’t investigating. If she had wanted to move forward, they said they would look into this case as vandalism, and maybe even a hate crime.
The family said, they just want their community to know they are peaceful people and shouldn’t be targeted for their beliefs.
“It’s really sad that in this time of day you can’t simply put a flag up, without somebody looking at it, as something evil and awful,” Lindsey said.
In the wake of the incident, the family said they plan on getting their own surveillance cameras, as they don’t have any right now. They also said they are planning on putting a new pride flag up.