A Utah teen has been charged with a hate crime for allegedly stomping on and crumpling up a “back the blue” sign, The Washington Post reported on Wednesday.
Garfield County Sheriff’s Deputy Cree Carter said in a statement that when he was doing a routine traffic stop at a gas station, he saw a teen take a “back the blue” sign and stomp on it.
“Back the blue” is a slogan that shows solidarity with law enforcement in the country, often used to counter Black Lives Matter protests, as well.
The teen, identified as 19-year-old Lauren Gibson, allegedly crumpled the sign in a “destructive manner” and started to smirk at Carter in “an intimidating manner,” according to the officer’s statement.
Carter then arrested Gibson and charged her with “criminal mischief” with a hate-crime enhancement, which strengthens penalties toward hate crime offenses, the Post reported.
In an interview with the Daily Beast, Gibson said the charges against her came as a shock, stating that she only did it in response to Carter’s aggressive approach toward her friend.
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SOURCE: The Hill, Olafimihan Oshin