Just as the city’s Pride month begins, the NYPD is investigating the burning of rainbow flags outside a Harlem gay bar, police said.
After midnight on Friday, a passerby told the owner of Alibi Lounge at 2376 Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd. that the two pride flags at the entrance were on fire and had been slightly burned, police said.
The bar posted photos of the burned flags on its Instagram.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued a statement saying he has directed the State Police Hate Crimes Task Force to help the NYPD investigate the incident.
"I am disgusted by the burning of a Pride flag outside an LGBTQ bar in Harlem early yesterday morning," he said. "This was a despicable and cowardly act made worse by the fact that it happened on the eve of Pride month.
"There is no place for hate in New York and those responsible for this repugnant behavior must be held accountable," he continued. "Rather than divide New Yorkers, this despicable act will only strengthen our commitment to tolerance, equality, and justice for every individual."
Mayor Bill de Blasio too condemned the flag burning, calling it a "disgusting act of bigotry" on his Twitter account.
Love is stronger than hate.— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) June 1, 2019
Pride is stronger than fear.
LGBTQ New Yorkers won’t be intimidated by this disgusting act of bigotry.
The NYPD is investigating this hate crime and will find whoever is responsible. https://t.co/ghe81DXt5e
No one answered the phone at Alibi Lounge on Sunday morning. The bar boasts that it’s the only black-owned LGBTQ lounge in New York City.
So far, there have been no arrests and the investigation is ongoing, police said.