by: Tyler Shaw
On Saturday, the Associated Press reported that a driver had slammed into spectators at the start of a Pride Parade in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, killing one man and seriously injuring another.
Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis (D), who was at the parade, rushed to conclusions claiming that the crash was a deliberate “terrorist attack against the LGBT community.”
“It’s terrible. They’re laying on the ground. This is clearly a terrorist act against the LGBT community,” the mayor said on Saturday. “This is disgusting, this is why we are fearful of our lives.”
Contrary to the Mayor’s accusation, Justin Knight, President of the Fort Lauderdale Gay Men’s Chorus, said that evening that both the driver and the victims were part of his chorus group.
After further investigation, Fort Lauderdale police confirmed Knight’s statement. They went on to say the evidence from their investigation clearly suggests the Saturday night crash was a tragic accident.
Mayor Trantalis issued a statement backtracking his comments from Saturday. “I regret the fact that I said it was a terrorist attack because we found that it was not, but I don’t regret my feelings,” the mayor said. “I don’t regret that I felt terrorized by someone who plowed through the crowd.”
When Mayor Trantalis was asked if he would apologize for his false accusation he refused saying, “The apology needs to come from the person who perpetrated this act, OK?”
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