Words: Alastair James; pictures: Pexels
San Francisco Pride was disrupted over the weekend after reports of multiple incidents including mace being sprayed into the crowd near the festival's main stage.
Reports also indicate physical altercations taking place as well as a since debunked report of a shooting.
As reported by the San Francisco Chronicle, police responded to reports around 5:30 pm on Sunday (26 June) of a "physical fight" that was broken up by officers.
Shortly after there were reports of a chemical substance being sprayed into the crowd near the Kaiser Permanente stage.
Posting on Twitter on Monday (27 June) SF Pride said there had been "reason for concern" but clarified, "as announced from the stage at the time, it was a person spraying mace into the crowd."
It says no one was harmed but explains performances were cut short "in the interest of safety".
A message from San Francisco Pride pic.twitter.com/qBHauhhYs4— San Francisco LGBT Pride (@SFPride) June 27, 2022
The Chronicle reports further fights took place as crowds dispersed quoting police spokesperson Kathryn Winters who told them of "a whole bunch of fights between 5:30 and 6 p.m."
In a later statement Winters debunked rumours of a shooting posting on social media: "On 6/26/22 at 5:25 pm, @SFPD officers near SF Pride Festival responded 7th & Market for report of shooting.
"Officers weren't able to locate any victims/witnesses. Doesn't appear to be merit to shooting in area, officers remain on scene to ensure safety/ security of Pride events."
On 6/26/22 at 5:25 pm, @SFPD officers near SF Pride Festival responded 7th & Market for report of shooting. Officers weren't able to locate any victims/witnesses. Doesn't appear to be merit to shooting in area, officers remain on scene to ensure safety/ security of Pride events— Officer Kathryn Winters (@officer_winters) June 27, 2022
The San Francisco Department of Emergency Management later reports the incident had been cleared. As reported by SFGate, three people were arrested and there were no injuries.
Oslo Pride had to be cancelled on Saturday (25 June) following a shooting in which two people were killed and 21 people were injured.
And in Turkey, more than 200 people were arrested in Istanbul on Sunday for defying a ban on the Pride parade.
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