[UPDATED:] Noose Hung at Gay Rights Group's Office; Demand Made for Police Probe

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UPDATE: Equality California's executive director released a statement tonight in response to Santa Ana Police "mishandling" a potential hate crime (see end of post) . . .

A volunteer for a nonprofit that works for legal protections for gays, lesbians, bisexuals and the transgendered returned to her Santa Ana office Thursday night to find a noose hanging from the doorknob.

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From EQCA Facebook page
A string? Really!?!
But Mel Distel, 25, of Huntington Beach, was almost more frightened by the attitude displayed by Santa Ana police officers who responded to what she considered a hate crime against Equality California (EQCA)

On EQCA's Facebook page, Distel relates the conversation she and EQCA's Daniel Shad had with two cops. 

"There was nothing they could do, of course, there was no suspect and no crime had been committed. The officer said 'what it is, is a string on a door.'  My vision got blurry, I was embarrased and felt stupid for making the call.  I took a deep breath and said 'Do you see any correlation between the fact that this is a gay office and there was a noose left on our door in the wake of all of these teen suicides?'  The officer said, 'Sometimes you just have to live with being a victim,' and proceeded to mention that his car had been broken into before."

That didn't exactly sit well with Distel.

"As if that's the same. As if having your stereo stolen is anything like the message 'You should kill yourself.'  As if random theft is anything like an act meant to convey hate and stir up fear in the heart of a minority group."


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