Crime - Sacto 911

Police investigate hate crime after death threats made to Sacramento LGBT center

A pride flag and the American flag hang over the Sacramento LGBT Community Center in midtown Sacramento.
A pride flag and the American flag hang over the Sacramento LGBT Community Center in midtown Sacramento. Sacramento Bee file photo

The Sacramento LGBT Community Center is on high alert after receiving two letters containing death threats and homophobic language Wednesday.

Both letters had a “faith-based bent” to them, said David Heitstuman, center executive director, and were more specific in nature than past hate mail the center had received.

“They talked about various ways they felt homosexuals have plagued society, then went on to talk about the various ways they would harm our community, including destroying and murdering every queer, lesbian, gay, bisexual (person) in Sacramento,” Heitstuman said.

Heitstuman called the Sacramento Police Department, who took the letters as evidence and began investigating the situation as a possible hate crime. The letters included a similar language and tone, said Officer Linda Matthew, police spokeswoman.

No arrests had been made as of Friday morning.

The LGBT Community Center, at 1927 L St., occasionally receives hateful calls or emails, Heitstuman said, and has had rainbow flags stolen from outside the Lavender District building in the seven years since he joined the board.

“It’s an unfortunate reality that this sort of hate exists in our community, and it’s a travesty that so much of it continues to be directed at the LGBT community and other marginalized populations,” Heitstuman said.

Benjy Egel: 916-321-1052, begel@sacbee.com

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