LPD investigates Arabic flag hanging from Citizens Tower

Published: Feb. 15, 2016 at 4:32 PM CST|Updated: May. 15, 2016 at 3:32 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Police are investigating after an Arabic flag was seen hanging from the Citizens Tower, formally known as the Omni Building, in Downtown Lubbock.

According to an Internet translation tool, it appears to read, "I love everyone."

Police are looking into who may have entered the building to hang the flag.

Mayor Glen Robertson sent a letter to City Manager James Loomis in regards to the flag:

Mr. Loomis,
It has been brought to my attention that an Arabic flag has been hung from one of the upper floors of the Omni building. I am requesting that the flag be removed immediately, that we get an accurate translation of the flag, and that Chief Stevens notify the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI, and our Lubbock County Sheriff's Department. I am also requesting that we take whatever steps are necessary to secure the building and ensure that this does not happen again. I fully understand that we must gather more facts before we make a knee jerk reaction but I am concerned on several levels. Please keep me informed as we learn more about this situation.

Glen Robertson

Once a picture of the flag was put on the internet, many Lubbock residents took to Facebook to voice their concerns, like Benjamin Wright.

Wright use to do construction work around the Citizens Tower, and said he noticed it was not secured. He hopes police will change this.

"There's trespassing, you know," Wright said. "There's more to it than just what it says."

LPD Chief Greg Stevens said trespassing into vacant buildings is common. Since 2014, they have received three reports of trespassing at Citizens Tower.

"Homeless folks will squat in the buildings, find a place to basically live for a while," he said, "and then vandals, of course."

Lubbock citizen Mazen Sabouni is from Syria and speaks Arabic. He said the phrase on the flag is common, especially around Valentines Day.

Sabouni hopes police will identify the intruders to find out if they had pure intentions, but the wrong method of sharing it.

"Those people wanted to express their feelings for other people," Identify yourselves and we will be happy to know who are you and why you love us and why to express yourself in that way."

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