Here's Why the Teens Who Defaced a Washington Pride Mural Could Be Facing 5 Years in Prison

AP Photo/George Walker IV

There is always at least one thing you can count on whenever Pride Month rolls around: An abundance of outrage porn.

Last week, leftists in Washington state got riled up after some teenagers allegedly vandalized a Pride street mural by riding their scooters over it, making marks to deface the display.

The action prompted the authorities to arrest the teenagers, who are now facing charges related to the state’s shiny, new hate crime law. If convicted, they could be looking at up to five years in prison.

That’s right, folks. Five years in prison for a victimless crime. Sounds quite progressive, does it not? Apparently criminal justice reform does not apply to those who trespass against the precepts of progressivism. What this latest episode shows is that blue states are becoming even more brazen with their efforts to weaponize the government against those with whom they disagree:

Three teenagers were arrested on June 5 for using their Lime e-scooters to create black scuff marks on the colorful Pride flag crosswalk at Howard Street and Spokane Falls Boulevard. The offense carries a maximum of five years in prison under the state’s newly enhanced felony hate crime law.

Responding to a 911 call, police arrested 19-year-old Ruslan V.V. Turko and two minors whose names were not released. All three were booked on first-degree malicious mischief. Mr. Turko was released on his own recognizance, according to the Spokane Police Department.

To be fair, the individuals in question are not exactly the cream of the crop nor were they very bright, according to court documents:

Court documents show when one of the witnesses confronted the young teens, one of the minors shouted back "F*** you F*****" and "Go to Hell." A different witness also heard a suspect in the group say "F*****" according to court documents.

Court documents state that a different witness saw the teens revving and intentionally scooting their tires over the mural, the witness also took photos of two of the suspects with their phone.

Nevertheless, the fact that the authorities are bent on throwing the book at the teenagers is quite telling, given how little comparative effort is aimed at going after crimes that actually hurt people. Those who support the hate crime law under which the teens were arrested and charged argue that it is essential for protecting marginalized communities. State Sen. Andy Billig, who introduced the measure to address repeated vandalism of LGBTQ landmarks in the city lauded its passage, saying, “Our state has passed important laws to protect people targeted for what they look like, who they love, or how they pray.”

Even more ridiculous, Lime, the company that provides the scooters that were used to vandalize the mural recently announced that it would institute a “no-go zone” at the intersection:

A company called "Lime," which provides the e-scooters, has implemented a trick that forces the scooters to slow down and stop as they hit the rainbow crosswalk, forcing the user to have to hand-walk it over the mural.

One of the key tenets of progressive criminal justice reform is that the state should not harshly punish those who commit “victimless crimes,” a sentiment with which I agree, incidentally. However, it appears that, as usual, they are selective about how this principle should be applied. The fact that they are willing to throw people in cages for up to five years for making some marks on a mural shows that they are not interested in criminal justice reform, or even justice itself for that matter.

This is purely political. If an Antifa thug defaced a Christian monument (if there are any left in Washington) or vandalized a pro-life building, there is no way they would be facing this level of punishment. The measure is little more than an effort to virtue signal, and they are willing to deprive people of their liberty to do so, Eighth Amendment be damned.



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