Hooded man throws lit firework into California Pride celebration in ‘possible hate crime’
Multiple injuries have been reported after a man threw a lit firework into a crowd at a Pride event in Hermosa Beach, California.
Police said the incident at the silent disco event on 17 June is being investigated as a possible hate crime, ABC7 reported.
Video released by police shows the man standing close to a crowd at the event, lighting a firework and throwing it, then quickly leaving the scene.
“We are investigating this as a possible hate crime,” Hermosa Beach Police Captain Landon Phillips told the outlet.
“We cannot rule that out. This was advertised as a Pride event. It appears the subject stopped there specifically, waited for a few minutes and then threw the explosive into the crowd.”
Police added that multiple people were injured, but no injuries were life-threatening.
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Adam Molvani, whose company put on the Pride event, told ABC7 that the incident was “very scary”.
“It was pretty traumatic for some of us, especially because it was a Pride event and you just never know what that might attract. There’s some crazy people out there,” he added.
Molvani explained that two of his colleagues had been injured by the firework explosion, but that it “could have been a lot worse”.
“It was a pretty powerful blast and everybody’s ears were ringing,” he added.
Pride month this year has sadly seen several disruptions as anti-LGBTQ+ legislation has swept the US and increased hostility against the queer community.
In New York, the Stonewall National Monument has reportedly been vandalised three times in June, with Pride flags ripped off the monument. A volunteer for the park where the monument is housed claimed there is “so much hatred and anger in the air right now”.
In New Hampshire, police are investigating after several neo-Nazis showed up to a Drag Queen Story Hour event, throwing Nazi salutes and banging on the window of the venue, an incident which has been described as “hate-filled disruption”.
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