Not a hate crime, says CPD, state’s attorney after attempted Pride flag burning

The LGBTQ Pride flag over Leather 6410 in Chicago. (Photo by Andre Vasquez)

By Gerald Farinas,

During Pride weekend on June 26, Ald. Andre Vasquez (40th) noted an attempt made to set fire to a massive Pride flag on display above Leather64Ten, 6410 N. Clark St.

Chicago Police 24th District officers raced to the scene and apprehended the suspect, Thomas Chavira, a 29 year old of Rogers Park.

Police records show that store witnessed Chavira getting ready to set the blaze with a bottle of rubbing alcohol and a lighter.

CWB Chicago further explained that after intervening, Chavira displayed the Sieg Heil salute of Nazi sympathizers and yelled a homophobic slur.

Chavira allegedly used pepper spray on two employees but missed, and then tried to flee the seen on a scooter. An employee thwarted the getaway by grabbing the bike.

Police records indicate “the elements of a hate crime are not present.”

Despite that, a Cook County State’s Attorney spokesperson told CWB Chicago and verified by that police did not consult with them during the investigation.

Instead, Chavira will be charged with two counts of misdemeanor assault against the two employees.

CWB Chicago found previous run ins with the law.

Read the original story on Used with permission.