New image shows 2nd potential suspect in Hillcrest hate crime investigation

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SAN DIEGO — Police released a new image Thursday in hopes it will help their hate crime investigation into vandalism targeting a Black Lives Matter banner and rainbow door display at a Hillcrest church, and an attack on a similar banner at a nearby night club.

Authorities say that on Jan. 23 at least one person threw pink paint on the BLM signs at University Christian Church and Rich’s nightclub, in addition to damaging the church’s door display.

“Yesterday, an image of a person of interest was released to the public. We are asking for the public’s help again in identifying a second person of interest,” San Diego Police Department said Thursday in a statement accompanying the surveillance image.

“Hate has no place in our community,” the news release continued. “Anyone with information is encouraged to call the San Diego Police Department Western Division at 619-692-4800.”

The new image comes a day after top city leaders, including Mayor Todd Gloria and Police Chief David Nisleit held a news conference asking for help solving the case and calling the incident “more than vandalism,” but instead “an attack on our community.”

“We will not shrug off hate against any San Diegan. Racism and bigotry in any form will not be tolerated in our city,” Gloria said. “We will identify the individual responsible for these hateful acts and hold them accountable.”

Nisleit said the recent acts of vandalism are the latest in a growing list of threats and criminal acts against members of the Black and LGBT communities in the Hillcrest neighborhood.

“Hateful acts of any kind will not be tolerated in our communities,” he told reporters. “I encourage any community member to contact the police department if they believe they have been a victim of hate so that all allegations can be thoroughly investigated and victims can seek justice.”

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