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Historic Marker Vandalized In Cooper Park

Published: Friday, July 09, 2010 @ 11:56 AM
Updated: Friday, July 09, 2010 @ 5:28 PM

Police in Dayton said they are investigating after someone vandalized a historic marker at Cooper Park. Now, some local residents are calling the vandalism a hate crime.

Officers said the vandalism happened earlier this week. They said the marker is the only one of its kind that is dedicated to the gay and lesbian community.

The city dedicated the marker in October 2009, so it has only been in place at Cooper Park for a few months. It honors Natalie Clifford Barney who was born in 1876, a lesbian who lived an outspoken and independent life that was unusual for a woman of that time period.

John Gantt said, "Natalie Barney was a well-known lesbian in the early 1900s. She was way ahead of her time."

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According to dedication documents, her openness and pride about her sexuality that was at least 100 years ahead of her time.

Those in Dayton’s gay community believe that the vandalism was a hate crime, something that only sets the community back.

Gantt said, "It is probably beyond repair. It's made out of cast aluminum. It's got a crack about six inches up the center of it."

News Center 7 spoke with Dayton police and they said they are investigating the case and looking into the possibility that of a hate crime.

The monument will cost at least $1,000 to fix. If you have any information about this, contact Dayton police at 333-COPS.