Several Injured After Mace and Fireworks Disrupt Pride Event in Baltimore

Several Injured After Mace and Fireworks Disrupt Pride Event in Baltimore

Several people were injured on Saturday night after a Pride event in Baltimore was disrupted by fireworks and mace sprayed in a crowded area, the police said.

Not long after 8:30 p.m. Saturday, attendees told officers that a chemical agent had been released into the crowd, the Baltimore Police Department said in a statement on Monday. The police found that the mace had been sprayed during a confrontation between two groups.

Fireworks were also set off at the event, which took place in downtown Baltimore, causing attendees to flee, the police said, adding that several people were injured as they tried to dash to safety.

Emergency medical workers quickly treated those who were injured, and the event was shut down.

The injuries reported were not life-threatening, and all those involved were treated at hospitals and released, a spokesman for the Police Department said on Monday. Mace is legal to own in Baltimore, though people may not carry it “openly with the intent or purpose of injuring an individual in an unlawful manner.”

With about two weeks left in June, when Pride Month events take place across the United States, there are still concerns about safety and security.

On Thursday night, several flags near the Stonewall National Monument in Lower Manhattan were removed and damaged, the authorities said.

City Councilman Erik Bottcher, who represents the Third District in Manhattan, said on social media that flag sticks had been snapped and that three-quarters of the flags around the park had been stolen. He also pointed to burned Pride decorations in the Chelsea neighborhood, adding that the community would not be intimidated.

“Hate has no place in our city, and nothing will change that,” Mayor Eric Adams said on social media after the episode. “We love the L.G.B.T.Q.+ community and celebrate them during Pride and all year round. We’ll always have your back, and we will bring whoever defaced the Stonewall monument to justice.”

With New York City’s giant Pride parade scheduled for June 30, the F.B.I. and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security gave a joint public service announcement last month, describing an increased security threat against Pride events in the United States and abroad. The announcement also warned that terrorist organizations or supporters might seek to target the gatherings.

While threats of terrorist attacks at such events are not uncommon, Pride organizers urge attendees to follow the advice and guidance of the event organizers and to remain vigilant.

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