Massachusetts police treat explosion at LGBT newspaper box as hate crime (VIDEO)

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

Police in Salem, Massachusetts, are treating the detonation of an LGBT newspaper box as a hate crime.

Authorities are looking into the explosion at the site of the Rainbow Times box on Essex Street, which “rocked” the downtown area of Salem.


The detonation of the box, as others were left untouched, prompted police to investigate the crime as a hate crime.

Seven suspects are seen on the CCTV video calmly walking up, placing explosives in the box and detonating it after they run off.

The Salem police chief Mary Butler said: “There are clearly other newspaper stands around it and they’re not being touched, so this is a particular, targeted hate crime.”

The LGBT paper is the largest in New England. Speaking to CBS Boston, the publisher of the paper, Gricel Ocasio said: “When I saw the video, there are no words to express how I felt… It was a combination of sadness, anger.”

The paper released a statement calling the attack “not just an act against The Rainbow Times or the LGBTQ community and its allies, but against the heart of Salem.”

A new box will be placed at the site of the explosion, and the paper said its work “will not be censored”.

The explosion has already been condemned by Mayor Kim Driscoll, who said it was a “cowardly act”.

“Fear and hate may cloud the hearts of those committing this act, but it will never, ever characterize this community,” Driscoll said on Facebook.

Check out a video of the explosion below: