A college student is facing a hate crime charge in Utah for allegedly destroying a “Back the Blue” pro-police sign after her friend got a speeding ticket, court documents show.
Lauren Gibson, 19, is accused of crumpling up the sign in a “destructive manner” and tossing it into a trash can on July 7, a Garfield County sheriff’s deputy wrote in an affidavit obtained by the Washington Post.
Deputy Cree Carter said Gibson did so while “smirking” at him in an “intimidating manner,” leading to the charge that’s prompted criticism from the American Civil Liberties Union in Utah.
“Due to the demeanor displayed by Gibson in attempts to intimate law enforcement while destroying a ‘Pro Law Enforcement’ sign the allegations are being treated as a ‘Hate Crime’ enhanced allegation,” Carter wrote in the affidavit, citing the state’s law passed in 2019.
Gibson, who attends college in California, was arrested for disorderly conduct and criminal mischief with a hate-crime enhancement.