Twitter Allows False Narrative About Pride Parade Crash

June 20th, 2021 8:51 AM

Twitter continues to allow users to spread the false narrative that Saturday night’s Pride parade car crash in Florida was an assassination attempt on Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

One man was killed and another was injured after a truck driven by an attendee accelerated and ran over the men. The driver was wearing a Fort Lauderdale Gay Men’s Chorus t-shirt.

A story quickly spread that the truck driver intended to hit Wasserman Schultz in an assassination attempt or terrorism.

Ft. Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis immediately speculated that Wasserman Schultz was the intended target of an assassination attempt.

“This is a terrorist attack against the LGBT community,” Trantalis told Local 10 News. “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.”

Some on Twitter agreed.

“Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) was the apparent target of an assassination attempt by a man who ran his truck through a Pride Parade in Florida,” PoliticusUSA’s Sarah Reese Jones tweeted, linking a story from the site with the same narrative.

Later, facts emerged indicating this version of events was not true. Justin Knight, president of the chorus, said the incident was not an attack and that 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,” he 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.”

Despite the fact that the driver of the truck was himself an attendee of the parade, PoliticusUSA blamed Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and former President Donald Trump.

“DeSantis granted civil immunity to people who drive through protesters who are blocking a road,” the article by Jason Easley, Managing Editor of PoliticusUSA, read. “The incident at the Pride Parade was not a protest, nor was anyone illegally obstructing traffic. Instead, someone who possibly thought that they had immunity potentially tried to kill a member of Congress.”

“It would not surprise anyone if this attack turns out to be another example of Trump-inspired domestic terrorism, two people have lost their lives, and AG Garland must be true to his word and federally prosecute this crime as an act of domestic terror,” Easley concluded.

As of Sunday morning, the article and tweets attributing the incident to a targeted attack on Wasserman Schultz were still up.

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