Not a hate crime, says CPD, state's attorney after attempted Pride flag burning

Mon. July 12, 2021 9:56 AM by Gerald Farinas


photo credit // andre vasquez

CWB Chicago reports the man's Nazi salutes and threats aren't hate crimes

Chicago, IL - During Pride weekend on June 26, Ald. Andre Vasquez (40th) noted an attempt made to set fire to a Pride flag at Leather64Ten, 6410 N. Clark St.

Chicago Police 24th District officers arrived at the scene and apprehended the suspect, Thomas Chavira, a 29 year old.

Police records show that employees witnessed Chavira getting ready to set a blaze with a bottle of rubbing alcohol and a lighter.

CWB Chicago further explained that after a store clerk intervened, Chavira displayed the Sieg Heil salute of Nazi sympathizers and yelled a homophobic slur.

Chavira allegedly used pepper spray on two employees but missed, and then tried to flee the scene. An employee thwarted the getaway by grabbing the suspect's scooter.

Police records indicate "the elements of a hate crime are not present."

Despite that, a Cook County State's Attorney office told CWB Chicago and verified by that police did not consult with them during the investigation. 

Instead, the assistant state's attorney said Chavira will be charged with two counts of misdemeanor assault against the two employees.

CWB Chicago reported cops seized an empty bottle of rubbing alcohol, Bic lighter, can of pepper spray, blue America First baseball hat, brown wallet with a swastika design, and dark gray bag with Nazi skull design.

The site also found Chavira had previous run ins with the law.