DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — Durham Police are investigating after a number of businesses downtown were vandalized this week, and two of those spots had pride flags displayed.
“It was frustrating and surprising, because I’ve had this flag up for three or four years and there has never been any sort of reaction,” Roylee Duvall, the owner of Through This Lens, one of the businesses targeted said.
Duvall says he came to work on Wednesday and saw the graffiti.
“It was really a little bit hard to decipher, it looked as if there may have been some rude words, but it was done in such a style that you couldn’t really tell,” Duvall said.
On Friday, Durham Police stopped by his building as their investigation into the graffiti continued, but his business wasn’t the only one struck. Durham Police say they’re investigating two other similar incidents downtown.
“This is nothing new to us,” Carlos Fernandez, the Director of Durham Pride, said. “I don’t think this is anything new to the queer community as a whole, we’ve been facing opposition since Stonewall.”
Durham Pride is being held on Saturday. Police have not confirmed whether the graffiti was related to the upcoming parade, but two out of the three spots targeted did have pride flags hanging. Fernandez says the hate won’t stop them.
“Our main focus is just to facilitate a safe space for community, whether you identify as queer or not, we are not here to change anyone’s minds about us, we are just here to be who we are and to display that publicly,” he said.
Fernandez says with the graffiti now washed away, their mission to support the LGBTQ+ community continues.
“The fight is never over, we’re going to continue with our fight, what I always say it though we are not done with the fight, the fight is always getting stronger with each generation,” Fernandez said.
As of Friday, there were no arrests or suspects named in the graffiti.