Police: It Was Water Department Sledgehammering the Rainbow Crosswalks
UPDATE [1:43 PM]: We contacted Nellie Fitzpatrick, Director of LGBT Affairs, who confirmed that the incident last evening was utility work. She told us,”I contacted PPD’s media affairs and was informed that ‘according to the water department, they were out there. They have a “leak detection crew” they sent there to look for leaks. They can only go out at night when there is less traffic so they can open the manhole and send a small microphone in and put it against the pipe to listen if any water is leaking. How they do it is they need to bang against the concrete to loosen the lid of manhole. Apparently this guy simply could not get it open.'”
ORIGINAL: The sledgehammering of Philadelphia’s rainbow crosswalks isn’t as awful as was initially reported by several media outlets, and, according to Philadelphia Police, it wasn’t vandalism, but rather the water department performing utility work.
Several reports indicated that two men were seen using a sledgehammer on a portion of the rainbow intersection at 13th and Locust at approximately 10:25 PM on Monday evening. However, it wasn’t an attack on the crosswalks, as was initially speculated and feared.
We spoke with Officer Palmiero of the Philadelphia Police Department just minutes ago who informed us that it was the “water department on location working.” In short, it was standard utility work.
The rainbow crosswalks were installed during the summer of 2015 and were featured during the city’s 50th anniversary of the LGBT Annual Reminders protest.