Analysis by WorldTribune Staff, June 20, 2021
Without any evidence and without waiting for any reports from the scene, the Left claimed the tragic accident at Sunday’s Stonewall Pride Parade in Wilton Manors, Florida was an overt attack on the LGBT community.
Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis, a Democrat, even characterized it as a “terrorist” attack.
One man was killed while another was injured when the driver of a pickup truck accelerated and ran them over.
Photos from the scene showed the truck sporting a pride flag and the alleged driver being escorted away by police wearing a Fort Lauderdale Gay Men’s Chorus t-shirt. Those who were struck by the truck were also reported to be members of the Gay Men’s Chorus.
Justin Knight, president of the Gay Men’s Chorus, said the driver was “part of the Chorus family.”
“Our thoughts and prayers are with those affected by the tragic accident that occurred when the Stonewall Pride Parade was just getting started,” Knight said in a statement. “Our fellow Chorus members were those injured and the driver was also a part of the Chorus family. To my knowledge, this was not an attack on the LGBTQ community. We anticipate more details to follow and ask for the community’s love and support.”
Witnesses also told WPLG that they heard the driver telling police after the incident that it was an accident.
While objective people saw it for what it was, a tragic accident, the Left pounced on the opportunity to further a narrative of right-wing violence aimed at the LGBTQ community.
“This is a terrorist attack against the LGBT community,” Trantalis told WPLG. “This is exactly what it is. Hardly an accident. It was deliberate, it was premeditated, and it was targeted against a specific person. Luckily they missed that person, but unfortunately, they hit two other people.”
The person Trantalis was referring to was likely Florida Democrat Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who was narrowly missed by the pickup truck.
“At the time Trantalis made the statement, there was no evidence to suggest his claims were in any way true,” The Daily Wire noted.
Though the evidence obviously pointed to a tragic accident, social media and other leftist media reports went with the planned attack-on-the-LGBT-community angle. The Hill’s click bait report still has the headline “Mayor: Truck running into Pride parade was ‘terrorist attack’ ” and has nearly 3,000 shares.
Truth be damned, many leftists are blaming their favorite Florida target, Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, as the cause of the accident, pointing to a new law that they say exonerates drivers who hit people during protests.
“That bill gives some legal protections to drivers who are sued after running into protesters when they felt they were threatened, but it does not, as many on the Left claimed Sunday, give people free rein to run down protesters, nor does it give anyone the right to run over parade participants,” The Daily Wire noted.
Yet still, more than 12 hours after the event, the Twitter hashtag #DeathSantis was still trending without any warning about misinformation, something the platform was quick to provide any time former President Donald Trump tweeted.
Democrat Nikki Fried, the Florida Agriculture Commissioner who is running against DeSantis in 2022, added more fuel to the attack-on-the-LGBT-community fire with a series of tweets.
Fried initially tweeted: I’m at the @WiltonManorsCty Stonewall #Pride Parade — a truck just drove into the crowd. The driver is in police custody. I’m lucky to be safe, but at least two people were hit and are in critical condition. All of us here all praying for them and their families.”
A followup tweet said: “We’ve learned that tragically one of the victims has passed away. Our hearts are breaking and we continue to pray no more innocent lives are lost.”
In a third tweet, Fried concluded the obvious, that it was a tragic accident, but added more fuel to the fire anyway: “With updates from law enforcement, it appears this was an accident. Still, it’s sad that we live in a society where so many initially felt this was an intentional act of violence. We must work to build a more accepting state and push back against divisiveness.”