Pride banners in Poulsbo repaired after vandalism

Police: Video shows potential suspect

After Pride banners were placed along business fronts in downtown Poulsbo May 31 in anticipation of Pride Month many of them were vandalized with what appear to be knife cuts the early morning of June 1.

They have since been repaired by being stitched back together by a community member. Poulsbo City Councilmember Gary McVey said in a Facebook post that the city also has more banners.

Police are reviewing video from a downtown business owner to determine the malicious mischief suspect, the Poulsbo Police Department says in a Facebook post June 3. Footage shows a “tall person wearing a green jacket, a baseball cap, full-face covering, black gloves and what seems to be a long white pole with a cutting instrument attached,” the post states.

If you have any information on the crime or are a downtown merchant who may have surveillance footage (about 3:45 a.m.), call 911 and ask to speak with a Poulsbo police officer.

A ceremony to raise the Pride flag at City Hall was held May 31 when Mayor Becky Erickson read a proclamation declaring June Pride Month in Poulsbo.

The City Council approved earlier this year to display Pride banners downtown in June. Last year the city flew Pride flags, and there were also issues with some of them being vandalized or stolen. While many have voiced their support for the banners, some have criticized city leaders for displaying them at all.

“It is with great sadness that we received the report of the vandalized pride banners in downtown Poulsbo just one day after dozens of us gathered to celebrate the flying of Pride flags over City Hall,” a statement from Poulsbo Pride reads. “This act of violence against our community underscores the need for Pride. Pride is not just time for celebration, it’s also a time to raise awareness of issues we might experience being part of the LGBTQIA+. It shines a light on the unique challenges we might face so that we can support each other better. We will not be deterred, we will continue to celebrate the beauty and diversity of our community.”

Following the vandalism of the banners, a GoFundMe account was set up on behalf of Poulsbo Pride’s inclusive initiatives. In two days, over $5,000 has been donated. Funds go toward Poulsbo’s Pride in the Park celebration in September.