A black male suspect has been identified as the repeat vandalism suspect accused of defacing the Rainbow Crosswalk in Atlanta, Georgia, last month with swastikas after leftists online blamed white supremacy for the spray paint across the LGBTQ street art, a cultural landmark known as the city's emblem of gay pride.
30-year-old Jonah Jade Sampson is charged with criminal trespass, felony interference with government property, and three counts of second-degree criminal damage to property for allegedly vandalizing the rainbow stripes painted at the intersection of 10th St and Piedmont Ave in mid-town Atlanta on two separate occasions.
APD investigators are asking for the public’s help to identify a person responsible for vandalizing the Rainbow Crosswalk in Midtown ATL. Investigators believe the same person is responsible for two incidents occured: 08/17/22 & 08/19/22. Call Crime Stoppers 404-577-TIPS (8477) pic.twitter.com/66QPZaJeOm— Atlanta Police Department (@Atlanta_Police) August 19, 2022
Surveillance video captured the suspect twice spray-painting a swastika over the Rainbow Crosswalk on Aug. 17 and another swastika along with an anti-gay slur later on Aug. 19. That same week, authorities discovered another swastika painted on a monument outside the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta building. APD spokeswoman TaSheena Brown told local media outlets that Sampson is a suspect as well in the Federal Reserve vandalism.
BREAKING: Rainbow Crosswalk vandalized again overnight with spray painted swastika. Atlanta Police say same suspect caught on camera also defaced nearby Federal Reserve pic.twitter.com/8H39W0RpUu— Steve Gehlbach (@SteveGWSB) August 19, 2022
Warrants were issued and Sampson was arrested on Aug. 19 following an hours-long stand-off with local law enforcement, including a SWAT team that was dispatched to the scene, at the suspect's apartment building. Sampson was taken into police custody after he exited the residence, according to an APD press release.
Jail records show Sampson was booked at Fulton County Jail on $77,500 bond. One count of criminal trespass was dismissed against Sampson because the warrant did not identify the value of the damaged property as required by Georgia Code § 16-7-21, a dismissal order filed on Aug. 24 in Fulton County Superior Court says.
Sampson's next court date is yet to be determined but he was ordered during his first courtroom appearance on Aug. 20 to "stay away" from the LGBTQ-friendly Saint Mark United Methodist Church, which was also a nearby target of recent vandalism, as a condition of release. The church was informed by police that the same suspected vandal threw bricks at its windows, WSB-TV reported. (Plexiglass covering the 100-year-old stained glass window protected it from any damage.) The attack took place right after the parish reinstalled its Pride flag.
The city's LGBTQ Liaison Unit was notified about the crosswalk incident and the Atlanta Department of Transportation cleaned the graffiti. "Atlanta Police immediately notified the Mayor's Office of the matter, then ATLDOT scrambled a crew—in the rain—to remove the disgusting act of vandalism from our street. We thank the women and men of ATLDOT and APD for erasing the hate that has no place in our city in a such [sic] a swift and efficient manner," said Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens' press secretary Michael Smith in a press statement.
"When you have a swastika, when you have homophobic graffiti, of course it's a hate crime," APD's interim chief Darin Schierbaum said, per The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "The motivation is to intimidate. The motivation is to spread hate, and this city doesn't have any room for hate, and this police department doesn't tolerate hate."
After leftist activists on social media claimed that white supremacists were responsible for the vandalism, it's been revealed that Sampson has posted online content consistent with "anti-[S]emitic black identity extremism." Investigative journalist Andy Ngo was the first to find Sampson's posts expressing black nationalist views.
Jonah Sampson, the man accused of vandalizing the Rainbow Crosswalk in Atlanta with swastikas, has an account in which he talks about killing people & how blacks are the "master race." The vandalism had been blamed on white supremacy. Read my report: https://t.co/mTEZKSalm5 pic.twitter.com/fmp6tNEv3o— Andy Ngô ?????? (@MrAndyNgo) August 23, 2022
On his since-deleted Instagram account "@pioneers553," Sampson posted ramblings about carrying out fatal shootings. Sampson's last post is a graphic of the Nazi Germany flag with the black swastika in its center.
"WHY ARE THEY KILLING AND MISTREATING BACK PEOPLE WE[']RE KINGS AND QUEENS," Sampson wrote in an entry on a note-taking app. He added, "REBEL WAR STARTERS ITS IN THE DNA."
"WE FINNA TURN GUNS ON YOU GUYS," Sampson captioned the Instagram post on Aug. 11.
At the beginning of July, he said, "We [are the] master Race," asserting that "Adam & Eve was Black." Sampson said he doesn't "give a f*ck what a [Jehovah's Witnesses] publication say," maintaining that "They wasn't white I Repeat." Sampson said that the Christian denomination portraying the biblical figures as white is "DISRESPECTFUL" and inaccurate. "THEY TRYNA TEACH US BUT DONT HAVE THE GENESIS ACCOUNT RIGHT. THEY KNOW THE BLACK RACE IS THE BLACK SHEEP OF THE HUMAN RACE CAUSE ADAM & EVE WAS BLACK," he argued. "De Facto World Ruler every jurisdiction and municipality every inch, is a Street N*gg*," he wrote on July 2. "The Devil made sure of That cause he knows blacks Gon f*ck it up like no Other."
"WHITE PPL FEAR YOUNG NIGG*S FOR A REASON THEY IN THE TRAP. ALL MY YOUNG NIGGAS LETS GET DIS MONEY!!!!" Sampson proclaimed on Aug. 15. "THE WORLD IS OURS," he told his Instagram followers. "DEM WHITE FOLKS BROUGHT US TO AMERICA FOR A REASON, SO WE CAN BLOOD SLATTT THEM. AND MY FOLKS NATIVE AMERICAN. THIS BEEN A LONG TIME COMING!!!!" the caption reads.
Another one of Sampson's posts via Notes entry declares: "F*CK A [sic] ANGLO-AMERICA. ONE THING FOR SURE THEY FINNA GET OUTTA AFRICA THEM MY DIAMONDS. BULLETTSSSSSSSSSSS."
Sampson's July 26 Instagram post was captioned: "WARFARE.
Sampson often posed with guns on Instagram. In an Instagram story from over 50 weeks ago, Sampson photographed himself aiming a rifle at a gun range with the accompanying text "Practice makes Perfect."
"Skinny Jeans with a Weapon," Sampson captioned another gun picture on June 26, this time holding a black handgun. "I'm the Fuuture [sic] and the Present AIMING ATCHO TOP TAKE ME TO YOUR LEADER."
Sampson has a criminal record dating back a decade. He faced a criminal trespass charge with prior notice in December 2011. Georgia State University Police Department is listed as the arresting agency and a plea deal was negotiated in the case. In October of that year, Sampson was charged with felony burglary. Two years later, Sampson violated probation when he was charged with disorderly conduct in 2013 but was given time served.
The property owner of Sampson's apartment complex has initiated eviction proceedings against him for failing to pay June's rent that's now long past due, according to an affidavit filed in Fulton County Magistrate Court's dispossessory division. In response, Sampson's mother wrote a July 6 letter obtained by Townhall that was addressed to the court claiming that her son had held back rent payment due to a pipe burst that flooded the apartment's front room. Sampson took pictures of the stained walls, she said, and then on July 5, a Medicare professional called the mother to ask what medications her son was taking. Police were notified because Sampson was "yelling + shouting" and an ambulance took him to Wellstar Atlanta Medical Center. "They had to calm him with a shot. The hospital say[s] they have to send him to a facility," Sampson's mother wrote.
A judge signed off an application on July 24 to execute a writ of possession commanding the Marshal's Department to remove Sampson from the premises but the filing as of July 28 remains unserved.
Sampson faced a prior dispossessory case for failure to pay May's rent as well but the plaintiff voluntarily dismissed the complaint. According to several Yelp reviews, former residents have described the apartment building where Sampson lives as "disgusting," "unsanitary," and "unsafe" with animal feces smeared in the hallways, elevators, and entrances of the "roach-infested" complex that has been fumigated a couple of times.
Another unhappy tenant who left a negative Yelp review as recent as mid-July alleged that a police officer was shot in the building just a few years ago while raiding a meth lab that was inside one of the apartments there.