City Attorney Mike Feuer today announced that his office secured a conviction and jail sentence against a graffiti vandal for damaging a Los Angeles LGBT Center facility with hate speech.
Damario Brown, 23, was charged on March 13 with one count each of hate crime damaging property and vandalism. The defendant pled open to the charges on March 14 and was sentenced to 36 months of probation, nine days in jail, 45 days of graffiti removal and was ordered to stay away from the Center.
On Feb. 9, the Center’s director of facilities reported an unidentified individual spray painted slurs directed at transgender people, and other slurs on the front facing wall of the Center’s Village at Ed Gould Plaza at 1125 N. McCadden Pl. Defendant Brown was identified by officers after recognizing him on surveillance video at the location and was arrested on March 9.
A restitution hearing is scheduled for April 27.
“In these increasingly precarious times, it’s particularly important that my office stand at the forefront in protecting all our residents against acts of violence and hate,” Feuer said.
Councilman David Ryu, 4th District, commended the city attorney’s office for prosecuting the case and protecting residents.
“We will not tolerate hate or bullying of any form,” Ryu said. “Los Angeles is and will continue to be a place of refuge for all.”
Councilman Mitch O’Farrell, 13th District, who shares representation of the LGBT Center in Hollywood and is openly gay, also commended the city attorney’s office for working to help create “an environment where our diversity is celebrated and one’s truth is respected.”
Lorri L. Jean, CEO of the LGBT Center said the incident was not an isolated event.
“There have been a rash of similar incidents targeting LGBT centers nationwide,” she said. “We are living in a very different climate – when LGBT people, Muslim people, Jewish people and others are increasingly under attack – but we must remain resilient.”
Deputy City Attorney Chadd Kim of the city attorney’s Special Trials Unit prosecuted the case.
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