Not thinking much of it, the Tree Streets resident went back to bed, only to find out the next morning that someone had dumped a cow carcass in front of her property at 100 W. Maple St. Later she would discover someone had also scattered approximately 70 nails near her residence’s vehicles.
According to a Johnson City Police Department report, Porter heard both male and female voices.
Porter believes these two offenses to be a hate crime, as her house has approximately 10 rainbow flags — symbols used to support the lesbian, gay, transgender, bisexual and questioning, or LGTBQ, community — hanging from the rafters of the porch.
“I don’t know what motivation they would have for doing something like this,” she said. “No one here has any enemies. Why would they be so hateful?”
Porter filed the police report with the JCPD for both the carcass and later when one of her renters discovered a nail in the tire of her vehicle. Porter reported to the JCPD what she saw out of her window the night before, which was an older, white, box-style truck.
An animal control officer with the Washington County-Johnson City Animal Shelter disposed of the carcass and told Porter he had never seen anything like it in 13 years of working for animal control.
Porter said she refuses to let what she considers acts of hate intimidate her, even in a national political climate that she believes had everything to do with such incidents.
“I refuse to let something like this make me live in fear,” she said. “I’m not going to take my flags down. In fact, I’m going to put up more, and I hope everyone else does, too.”
Members of the South Side Neighborhood Organization, which works within the Tree Streets neighborhood, will be selling flags for $5 to people in the area who want to show support for Porter and members of the LGTBQ community.
“It’s definitely not OK, and it doesn’t belong in our neighborhood,” said SNO’s Amber Floyd Lee about the motive behind the incidents.
Those flags, rainbow flags with peace signs, will be available through the Tree Streets Facebook page. All proceeds from the sale of the flags will go to the Tennessee Human Rights Campaign.
Email Tony Casey at [email protected]. Follow Tony Casey on Twitter @TonyCaseyJCP. Like him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/tonycaseyjournalist.