Librarian charged with hate crime after spray painting 'groomer' on libraries during Pride Month
Charles Southerland (Photo via Prince George's County Police)

A Maryland man has been charged with a hate crime after he admitted to vandalizing two libraries last week when he spray painted the word “Groomer” across the entrances of Greenbelt library last Thursday, and at the New Carrollton library on Saturday, WTOP reports.

Charles Sutherland, 30, who himself is a librarian and now on leave, was arrested on Wednesday.

Prince George’s County libraries spokesperson Nicholas Alexander Brown said the library “vehemently condemns the defacement of its buildings.”

“The library will not waiver in its commitment to maintaining welcoming spaces to LGBTQ+ customers and their allies,” Brown added.

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“This is deeply concerning to us. We’ve seen the rise in this over the past several years along with all other kinds of hate incidents, and the LGBTQ+ community is a particular target here in the DMV area,” Brown said.

“We, as a library, are reaffirming our commitment to ensuring that our spaces are safe and welcoming for members of the LGBTQ+ community, but not just them,” Brown said. “It’s about everyone. We are here to support everyone and everyone’s needs, and anytime you need a resource or need some support, the library is here to help.”