Orlando Sentinel

Vandals shatter front window of the Equality Florida office

- By Christal Hayes Staff Writer

Vandals smashed a window at the Orlando Equality Florida office Thursday, according to the organizati­on.

Michael Farmer, who works as the Deputy Developmen­t Director of the agency, which advocates for LGBT equality, said he got a call about 4:30 p.m. that one of the windows had been smashed.

No one was working in the building when the incident happened, he said.

When he arrived, Farmer said he saw the large, double-paned window at the front of the Bumby Avenue office — where the organizati­on’s banner hangs — was broken. It had been smashed right where the agency’s logo, an equal sign, was located.

Farmer said he isn’t sure what motivated the vandalism, but said he hopes it wasn’t a dig at the LGBT community, especially in the aftermath of the attack at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando.

He said the office is one of several in a group in the building and is far from the road, so it’s hard for him to think it was an accident.

“We see this national climate where minority businesses and worship centers are getting bomb threats and being vandalized, and I hate to think that this is a piece of that but it’s obvious someone selected our office and did this,” Farmer said.

He said he called police, but officers were in the middle of dealing with an officer-involved shooting at a Wal-Mart and couldn’t immediatel­y respond.

He said he’s going to file a report online and hopes that security cameras nearby captured what happened and who was responsibl­e.

“It’s always in the back of my mind and you’re hoping you’re never in a dangerous situation, but it’s always something you prepare for,” Farmer said. “It’s not going to scare us or detour what we do.”

Anyone with informatio­n can call Crimeline at 800-423-8477. chayes@orlandosen­tinel.com, 407-420-5493 or Twitter: @journo_christal

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United States