Police in West Lafayette, Indiana, are investigating a banner with anti-gay and racist remarks left outside a church. Local police have contacted the FBI about the banner, as well.
One banner reads, “Die fucker. Just like Orlando. Just like Vegas,” with the date January 23 spelled out alongside the message. The other banner targeted singer Jackson Browne, a progressive musician who has a concert in Orlando on Tuesday, January 23.
West Lafayette mayor John Dennis told the Journal & Courier: “I’m so fucking mad.”
He continued, “West Lafayette has been and always will be an open and welcoming community,” Dennis wrote. “We will not allow our embracing of all that is right to be targeted by those who feel empowered to deliver a message of hate, violence and exclusivity.”
Orlando police told the Orlando Sentinel that there will be an increased police presence at Browne’s show.
“We are deeply saddened and heartbroken by the news that broke from West Lafayette,” Christopher Cuevas, the founder of the Orlando-based queer Latinx advocacy group QLatinx said in a statement to INTO. “QLatinx has organized Orlando-area Latinos in the wake of the Orlando shooting. This flagrant act of violence, meant to intimidate LGBTQ+ people of color, is yet another example of the necessity finding and building spaces of respite and healing for our community, as they continue to dwindle in numbers across the country and as our people face continued oppression by this administration and those that subscribe to the hateful and bigoted ideologies of the president. We stand with the community of West Lafayette, and offer our support in any way to help facilitate healing.”
According to the Sentinel, the banners have prompted an anti-hate forum in West Lafayette on Wednesday.