Mission LGBT mural set aflame in 3rd vandalism incident

Courtesy Patrick Aubin

Courtesy Patrick Aubin

The LGBT mural vandalized twice in recent weeks outside the Galeria de la Raza cultural center in the Mission was defaced yet again late Monday night by an unknown arsonist.

The mural was unveiled earlier this month — and replaced late last week— on the corner of 24th and Bryant streets in celebration of Pride.

The mural, which depicts gay, lesbian and transgender Latinos, has elicited homophobic responses on social media, and was spray painted over twice before.

The digital image, which was pasted on the wall, was lit on fire by an unknown man Monday night. Police said a witness had a fire extinguisher nearby and calmed the flames while firefighters and police responded.

“Everyone is safe, including our neighbors,” Galeria de la Raza said in a statement on their Facebook page. “Keep us in your thoughts.”

Witnesses told police the arsonist — a man with cloth over his face, wearing a black sweatshirt, black pants and white sneakers — ran southbound on Bryant Street toward 25th Street after setting the fire.

“This is extremely dangerous, this is beyond just vandalism now, this is putting people’s lives in danger,” said Officer Albie Esparza, adding that fires can spread quickly in the dense blocks of The City.

Esparza said the latest incident is being investigated by the arson unit, while police in a special unit that investigates hate crimes are handling the two prior vandalism cases. But they’ll be working together, he said.

Patrick Aubin, a Mission resident who lives near the mural, said firefighters were clawing out smouldering pieces of burnt material behind the paper mural when he arrived at the corner around 11:10 p.m. Monday night. Police were closing off the sidewalk with crime tape as smoke billowed from the wall, he said.

“The fire was was still smoldering from the canister they used to start the fire,” Aubin said. Police confirmed that some kind of fuel was used to start the fire, but could not say what.

“I had warned the Galeria, David Campos’ office, the landlord and the police that something like this might happened,” Aubin told the San Francisco Examiner. “There was a definite safety concern the past few weeks about putting the mural [up] a third time that the Galeria owner blatantly ignored.”

Esparza said people are encouraged to call the police to report any suspicious activity.ArsonCholo muralCrimeGaleria de la Razahate crimeLGBT muralPor Vida muralSan Francisco Crime

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

 

Courtesy of Patrick Aubin

Courtesy of Patrick Aubin

Courtesy of Patrick Aubin

Courtesy of Patrick Aubin

Just Posted

Giants second baseman Donovan Solano scores on a double in the seventh inning against the Dodgers at Oracle Park on July 29. (Chris Victorio/Special to The Examiner)
Will the Giants make the playoffs? Kris Bryant may be the answer

By Chris Haft Special to The Examiner You’d be hard-pressed to find… Continue reading

Tiffany Carter, a co-founder of SF Black Wallstreet, at her restaurant, Boug Cali West Coast Creole Shack in the La Cocina Marketplace on Friday, July 30, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
SF Black Wallstreet: Helping residents build wealth, reclaim spaces they’ve had to leave

Tiffany Carter moved back to her hometown of San Francisco five years… Continue reading

A prescribed fire at Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks was conducted in June 2016 to reduce hazardous fuel loading, increase watershed health, and restore the natural fire cycle in the Redwood Canyon area ecosystem. (Photo courtesy Rebecca Paterson/National Park Service)
Experts, UC scientists discuss wildfires in the state’s riskiest regions

Wildfires are nothing new in California’s history, but the magnitude and frequencies… Continue reading

Fourth-grade students at Lucerne Valley Elementary School don masks and Western wear for a “Walk Through California” history day during in-person instruction. (Courtesy of Krystal Nelson)
Confusion over mask mandate for California schools sparks tension between districts and parents

By Diana Lambert EdSource Shifting rules around mask mandates at schools are… Continue reading

Steven Buss, left, and Sachin Agarwal, co-founders of Grow SF, a new group that aims to offer folks a moderate take on SF politics, on Friday, July 30, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
Grow SF: New tech group aims to promote moderate ideals to political newcomers

Sachin Agarwal has lived in San Francisco for 15 years. But the… Continue reading

Most Read