A 71-year-old man was arrested in Saskatoon, Canada, after an incident involving the painting of a Pride crosswalk in the Broadway neighborhood on June 9.
According to a press release from the Saskatoon Police Department, officers were dispatched on a disturbance call at 9 p.m.
Volunteers from the local LGBTQ + non-profit organization OUTSaskatoon painted a rainbow and trans pride crosswalk, in celebration of Pride Month and in preparation for the Saskatoon Pride Festival.
Witness Logan Roberts told CBC that other residents honked horns to support them and even offered donuts while they worked. However, the man, who was later dubbed online a “homophobic cowboy”, is said to have started shouting racist slurs at some of the painters.
Roberts told CBC the man parked his car and headed for the crosswalk.
“Then he started grabbing the barricades that had been put up just for safety while we were painting, and he started throwing them around and screaming and saying how just stupid we were and destroying the country.” , did he declare.
The man was then arrested and released on summons. He is expected to appear in court in November.
In a statement shared on Twitter, Saskatoon Pride and OUTSaskatoon said: “Last night there was an incident involving an individual who attempted to disrupt our #Pridewalk painting on Broadway and the 10th. Their actions were fueled by Homophobic and racist comments that attempted to incite violence; the case is now being dealt with legally.
“What happened last night in #yxe and the recent aggravated assault on a gay man in Toronto are reminders of the harassment and violence our # 2SLGBTQ communities continue to face. The pride started as a protest for tackling the violence and discrimination we face as a community and although pride has evolved to include celebration as well, there are still many basic rights and freedoms we must fight for. “
Various videos of the incident were shared online, with a clip posted on Reddit garnering more than 20,000 votes in nine hours. The post called the man a “homophobic cowboy,” because of his headgear choices and behavior.
Essa Bear, a volunteer painting the crosswalk, also shared her own footage with TikTok. In the video, the man can be seen walking towards another volunteer while knocking down barricades.
“I was invited to go paint sidewalks in my town, on Broadway, everything was given away, everything was free, people asked us to go do that. This old man drove by and said a bunch of hateful stuff * t. He went first before he came and did that, “she said in a follow-up video.
“The fact that he says we don’t own the property. That we don’t own the neighborhood, we don’t own Broadway. If anyone owns this land, it’s me. nations, we are still here, and I’m sorry that I can go out and be free to be who I am and go paint rainbows on a sidewalk. I’m sorry if that offends you, “he said. -she adds.
News week contacted Essa Bear for comment.