Dallas mayoral candidate Rich Sheridan has been arrested in connection with the graffiti case from June 2014. He has been charged with marking “666” on the Legacy of Love monument and at Cathedral of Hope.
Dallas police Asst. Chief Randy Blankenbaker said defacing a public monument and a place of worship are state jail offenses. In addition, police are filing hate crime charges against Sheridan. The graffiti charges are a third degree felony. The hate crime enhancement could increase the charge to second degree with a penalty of 5 to 20 years in prison.
In addition to the tags at the church and the monuement, the same marks were found in front of The Dallas Morning News, D Magazine and Dallas Observer. Several Dallas Voice distribution boxes were also marked, but nothing at Dallas Voice headquarters, even though the target seemed to be the LGBT community.
LGBT police liaison Officer Laura Martin was also at the press conference.
“The LGBT community was significantly alarmed and felt harassed,” Martin said. “Police used every resource to make Mr. Sheridan accountable for his actions.”
Martin said it took this long to make an arrest because of an exhaustive investigation, the length of time it took to find surveillance video and then the delay in getting the case before a grand jury.
So while California considers a ballot initiative to murder all the gays and Indiana’s governor signs an anti-LGBT discrimination law, Dallas pursues those who harass the LGBT community with hate crime charges.