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New York police investigate threats by ‘cowards’ against LGBT venues

Joseph McCormick June 17, 2016
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New York City is investigated “a number of threats” made against LGBT venues in the city.

The city’s Police Commissioner William Bratton earlier this week said “cowards” had made the threats against several venues.

Letters were found on the windscreens of several vehicles parked near to LGBT venues threatening violence against gay people.

The Commissioner said a 40-year-old Justin Rice, was arrested after having stood outside a gay bar in Brooklyn on Monday, and threatened to “come back Orlando style”.

He was charged with attempted assault, aggravated harrassment and criminal possession of a weapon, the NYPD said to Crimesider.

“I’m going to shoot this place up and get my 50 just like Orlando, Florida,” Rice allegedly shouted outside the Happyfun Hideaway, according to DNAinfo.

The Police Commissioner vowed to investigate every threat made against the LGBT community thoroughly.

“They are cowards. They seek to take this tragedy, and for their ten seconds of their anonymous phone call to a bar, for their 140 bits on Twitter, they basically spew their venom. We treat it very seriously and to the best of our ability we’ll see to investigate every one of those instances,” Bratton said.

He also predicted that the upcoming New York Pride would be the biggest ever.

“It’s a very eventful month in New York,” Bratton said on MSNBC’s Morning Joe.

“We will probably have, somewhat as a result of this event, the largest gay pride parade in the history of the city.”

NYPD Chief of Department James O’Neill spoke to WCBS 880 to say there would be an increased police presence across the city at LGBT venues and crowded areas.

Also in New York, Mayor Bill de Blasio directed police to stand guard outside historic LGBT venue the Stonewall Inn – a poignant moment, 47 years after a police raid of the venue sparked the Stonewall riots and the early gay rights movement.

49 people were killed and 53 injured on Sunday in the shocking terrorist hate crime attack, which saw a gunman open fire inside The Pulse gay bar in Orlando, Florida.

ISIS has since claimed responsibility for the attack, which was perpetrated by US citizen Omar Mateen. The majority of the victims were Latino.

In a statement, President Obama mourned the victims of the homophobic hate crime attack and called for greater restrictions on arms sales.

In response, Republican nominee Donald Trump said Obama should resign for failing to rally against Islam in his comments.

The attack has been condemned by American Muslim leaders, who addressed ISIS in saying: “You do not speak for us.”

But millions of people around the world have showed solidarity with the victims of the shooting and the community in Orlando,

Earlier this week, a threat was posted to Craigslist in San Diego, praising the shooting in Orlando, and reading: “San Diego, you’re next”.

Two US Marines are also being investigated for posting a photo with an assault rifle with the caption “Coming to a gay bar near you” on Facebook.

Related topics: US

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