THORNTON, Colo. (KDVR) — A local couple, both of them in law enforcement, say they are the victims of a hate crime after someone stole and destroyed a Pride flag from their home — twice.
Jane Harmer and Kristi Peterson have been together for 18 years. They have lived in the same neighborhood in Thornton for 16 years. And they say this year is the first that they have been the victims of vandalism involving their Pride decorations.
“It is important to be who you are and be able to fly what you want to fly,” Peterson told FOX31.
According to the couple, their Pride flag was stolen overnight on June 3.
“It had been torn apart and thrown in a gutter,” Harmer said.
A family friend purchased a new flag to replace the one that had been destroyed. Peterson and Harmer’s neighbor purchased several smaller flags for their lawn and also hung a full-size Pride flag on their house next door.
“We got smart and finally put in a security system,” Harmer said.
A few days later, the newly installed camera caught thieves removing the flag again.
“The second time really showed me that we were being targeted, and that scared me,” Harmer said.
The couple believes the acts are hate crimes.
“They didn’t touch his flag [next door]. They didn’t touch another flag that’s down the block a little ways,” Harmer said.
Now, with their law enforcement background, they are focusing on finding out who took the flags.
“We just want some accountability for their actions,” Peterson said.
However, after posting the video to their neighborhood Nextdoor site, Peterson said it did not generate any leads.
“I had comments of, ‘Well, it’s irrelevant. Why do you care? It’s just a flag,’” she said.
To them, though, Peterson and Harmer say the flag is a symbol of inclusivity.
“I think there is more support than there is hate, but there shouldn’t have to be hate,” Peterson said.
If you recognize the people in the video, please call Thornton Police.