LOS ANGELES – City Attorney Mike Feuer today announced that his office has successfully secured a conviction and jail sentence against a graffiti vandal for damaging a Los Angeles LGBT Center facility with hate speech.
"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," said Feuer.
"We will not tolerate hate or bullying of any form. Los Angeles is and will continue to be a place of refuge for all. I commend the City Attorney's office for their work prosecuting this case and protecting our residents," said Councilmember David Ryu.
"Messages of hate and violence will not be tolerated in the City of Los Angeles," said Councilmember Mitch O'Farrell, who is openly gay and shares representation of the Los Angeles LGBT Center in Hollywood. "I commend our City Attorney for taking swift action regarding this crime, and for working with my office to create an environment where our diversity is celebrated and one's truth is respected."
"This hateful incident was not an isolated event," said Los Angeles LGBT Center CEO Lorri L. Jean. "There have been a rash of similar incidents targeting LGBT centers nationwide. 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. We’re grateful to the Los Angeles Police Department and to City Attorney Mike Feuer."
Damario Brown, 23, was charged on March 13, 2017 of one count each of hate crime damaging property and vandalism. The defendant pled open to the charges 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. A restitution hearing is scheduled for April 27, 2017.
On February 9, 2017, the Center’s Director of Facilities reported an unidentified individual had spray painted the phrase "F--k Trannies," among other slurs, on the front facing wall of the Center’s Village at Ed Gould Plaza located at 1125 N. McCadden Place. Defendant Brown was identified by officers after recognizing him on surveillance video at the location and was arrested on March 9, 2017.
Deputy City Attorney Chadd Kim of the City Attorney’s Special Trials Unit successfully prosecuted the case.