A tragic accident at the Stonewall Pride Parade in Wilton Manors, Florida, was turned into a political weapon by Democrats and their media supporters.
One man was killed while another was injured when the driver of a pickup truck accelerated and ran them over. Within moments of the tragedy and before any information was known, Democrats and the media began treating it as a deliberate attack on the LGBT community.
Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis, a Democrat, was at the parade and claimed the truck narrowly missed Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) “by inches” and called the incident a “terrorist attack.
“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.”
At the time Trantalis made the statement, there was no evidence to suggest his claims were in any way true.
Wasserman Schultz was reportedly in a convertible getting ready to appear in the parade. It is not clear at this time exactly how far from the incident she was at the time, as reports vary.
Trantalis’ claims have been echoed across social media and in other media reports, with many blaming a law signed by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, as the cause of the accident. 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 morning, give people free rein to run down protesters, nor does give anyone the right to run over parade participants.
Yet still, more than 12 hours after the event, the Twitter hashtag #DeathSantis is still trending without any warning about misinformation, something the platform was quick to provide any time former President Donald Trump tweeted.
Of course, it was not a “premeditated” “terrorist attack” but the result of a tragic accident. The man driving the truck was wearing a Fort Lauderdale Gay men’s Chorus t-shirt, and the chorus’ president, Justin Knight, 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.
For her part, Wasserman Schultz released a statement that did not suggest the incident was a terrorist attack.
“I am deeply shaken and devastated that a life was lost and others seriously injured at tonight’s Wilton Manors Stonewall Pride Parade,” Wasserman Schultz said.
“My staff, volunteers and I are, thankfully, safe. I want to thank our first responders for their heroic efforts as both police and emergency medical personnel stepped into action quickly,” she added. “We’re praying for the victims and their loved ones as law enforcement investigates and I am providing them with whatever assistance I can. I am so heartbroken by what took place at this celebration.”