This is domestic terrorism, pure and simple. The motivation is an unfathomable hate of those who are part of the LGBTQ community.
In 2016 gay people are not safe in this country. They, especially ones of color, and trans folks, are still under attack. We must remain vigilant and make sure we keep them safe. That means watch what you say and correct people who say homophobic and transphobic things. That’s where it starts.
Authorities in Santa Monica found possible explosives as well as weapons and ammunition Sunday in the car of a man who told them he was in town for the L.A. Pride festival in West Hollywood, a law enforcement source said.
Early Sunday, Santa Monica police received a call of a suspected prowler near Olympic Boulevard and 11th Street. Patrol officers responded and encountered an individual who told officers he was waiting for a friend. That led officers to inspect the car and find several weapons and a lot of ammunition as well as tannerite, an ingredient that could be used to create a pipe bomb.
The parade comes hours after the attack at the Orlando club that killed at least 50 people. At least 53 were injured in the deadliest shooting in modern American history after a gunman took hostages. The gunman, who was killed in a shootout with police, has been identified as 29-year-old Omar Mateen, a U.S. law enforcement official said.
One source in West Hollywood said there was discussion of calling off the parade but that officials decided to go forward, with heavy security including undercover officers in the crowd.
The sources spoke to The Times on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to comment publicly.
West Hollywood City Councilwoman Lindsey Horvath said in a statement that Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials are stepping up security efforts around Sunday’s parade and other festivities. But she said officials do not believe there is any threat around Sunday’s activities.
“We are hearing absolutely devastating news reports from Orlando this morning,” she said. “Gun violence on the LGBTQ family during Pride Month makes me sick. The deadliest mass shooting in America happened to LGBTQ people on Latin night. While we mourn this heartbreaking loss, we must also rededicate ourselves to the fight for full equality for all people. No one is equal unless everyone is equal.”