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LANSING- Residents and business owners are responding to a series of anti-gay tags spray painted on buildings in the city’s historic Old Town late Tuesday night, or early Wednesday morning. The area is known for its artist community, trendy lofts, and two of the city’s three bars catering to LGBT clients.
Spray painted throughout an alley and parking area, were the words “Kills Gays,” “KG,” presumably meaning “Kill Gays,” and “Mushroom Militia Kill Gays.” It was all spray painted in fluorescent orange paint. The graffiti appeared on doors, walls, and second floor walls.
Public Information Officer Lt. Noel Garcia of the Lansing Police Department confirmed that they had a suspect in custody. Dustin Corey Green, an 18-year-old Lansing resident has been charged with 3 counts including one for malicious destruction of property, a weapons possession charge for carrying a knife with a blade over three inches and minor in possession of alcohol charge.
Jamie Shriner-Hooper, executive director of Old Town Mainstreet, a nonprofit community group in Old Town, said the community is angry.
âOld town is a very open and welcoming community. This is a time we need to unite together and show more than ever we are,” Shriner-Hooper said. “The one thing we don’t welcome is the message of hate. What occurred here is not acceptable anywhere, but especially not in our neighborhood.”
“This infuriates me,” Shriner-Hooper said.
Shriner-Hooper is also praising the response of the police. Within moments of her phone call about the spray painted attacks, officers from the Lansing police were on the scene, followed shortly by a member of the department’s gang officer, as well as a photographer. She also said Capt. Ray Hall who runs the Lansing Police Department’s North Precinct had called and said police were taking the incident “very seriously.”
“It was LPD coming down here and doing everything they could,” said Shriner-Hooper,”that I thought was very reassuring.”
“Just the idea of it is despicable,” said Lansing City Council member Carol Wood. “It is heart wrenching that people would have to walk into their businesses or leave their homes and see that kind of hate painted all over. Especially in a city that has embraced diversity as a part of the fiber of this community.”