Baltimore Pride Shut Down After Panic Ensued Amid Suspected Attack

Injuries reported following release of a chemical agent and ensuing chaos during festivities.

Multiple Injuries Reported

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Following the release of a “possible chemical agent” at the Baltimore Pride Parade this past Saturday, multiple injuries have been reported.

Police Investigate Possible Chemical Agent

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In a press release, the police stated that multiple parade goers came to police offers to share that some sort of chemical agent was released into the crowd. 

Uncertainty Over Chemical

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They were not sure what the chemical was, or whether it could be something as harmless as hair spray or something more dangerous. 

Not Released by Police

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Upon investigation, the police were able to confirm that it was not released by any member of law enforcement.

Fireworks Cause Further Panic

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During the parade, a series of fireworks were also released which sent the crowd into chaos, leading to further injuries. 

Stampede or Chemical Agent?

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With the current information held, officials are not sure whether the injuries were due to the stampede or the chemical agent. 

Shutting it Down

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After the stampede and the possible chemical agent, fire officials treated the wounded and closed down the event to prevent further damage. 

Investigation Ongoing

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Police have also not yet confirmed what type of chemical agent was released, and have stated they do not have enough information to confirm that it was indeed a targeted attack. 

Rise in Incidents

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Unfortunately, this was not the first interruption or attack at a Pride event this month. 

Pride Banners Slashed

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On June 5th, 14 banners were destroyed in Poulsbo, Washington. 

Stolen Flags

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In Carlisle, Massachusetts, 200 Pride flags were stolen from the rotary center before the Pride month celebrations even began. 

State Department Warns of Potential Terrorist Threats

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The US State Department announced a global security alert in May, warning US citizens out of the country that members of the LGBTQ+ community may be in danger of being targeted by terrorists. 

Global Security Alert

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The alert reads, “Due to the potential for terrorist attacks, demonstrations, or violent actions against U.S. citizens and interests, the Department of State advises United States citizens overseas to exercise increased caution”. 

Increased Caution Advised

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Continuing, “The Department of State is aware of the increased potential for foreign terrorist organization-inspired violence against LGBTQI+ persons and events and advises U.S. citizens overseas to exercise increased caution”. 

Smart Traveller Enrollment

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The State Department encourages members of the LGBTQ+ to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program in order to stay up to date with emergency situations and alerts. 

Stay Safe

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While the authorities have not specified one certain country or location of higher risk, they encourage queer travelers to stay on alert regardless of travel destination. 

Criticism of Vague Nature of Alert

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The vague announcement from the State Department has received criticism, including from the senior director of law, policy and research at Outright International Neela Ghosal.

Taking it Seriously

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Ghosal said, “I understand that the State Department feels that they do have an obligation to let people know about these types of threats, and I think it’s important to take that seriously”. 

Creating Panic

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Continuing, “But without a level of specificity, it just creates a bit of stress and panic without anybody having valuable information on how they might change their behavior to avoid a risk.”

Shocking Statistics

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In Pride Month 2023 alone, the LGBTQ+ media advocacy group GLAAD recorded more than 145 instances of assault, harassment, and vandalism against the queer community. 

Multiple Alerts Issued

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A similar statement was released by both the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security, warning members of the LGBTQ+ community to stay alert and stay safe in the face of possible terrorist attacks. 

The post Baltimore Pride Shut Down Event After Panic Ensued Amid Suspected Attack first appeared on Pulse of Pride.

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For transparency, this content was partly developed with AI assistance and carefully curated by an experienced editor to be informative and ensure accuracy.