Call for bump in Pride security rejected by judge

A judge Thursday denied a motion for an injunction calling for increased security at San Francisco Pride events set to take place later this month, saying there wasn’t time for changes to be made to the event.

Attorney Ryan Lapine sought the injunction after filing lawsuits in San Francisco Superior Court last month on behalf of three people injured in shootings at the Civic Center Pride Celebration in 2013 and 2015.

Shootings and other violent incidents have taken place in connection with Pride events nearly ever year since 2010, including a fatal shooting at the 2010 “Pink Saturday” celebration in the Castro District. That event has been canceled this year, in part due to security concerns by previous organizers.

In his motion for an injunction, Lapine argued that other Pride celebrations around the country employ security measures including fencing, bag and security screening, and restrictions on alcohol, in order to reduce the risk of such incidents. He sought to have such measures put in place at the Civic Center celebration, including a possible move to a more secure location.

Statements submitted as evidence indicate the San Francisco Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Pride Celebration Committee has been warned of the security risks by police but chose not to increase security.

However Judge Joseph Quinn found that those statements were inadmissible for the purposes of the injunction. In addition, he ruled that the motion was filed too close to the event to give the Pride Committee any reasonable chance of making the changes it calls for.

Outside of court, Lapine said he was delayed in filing the case by legal maneuvering that succeeded in keeping evidence from a previous case confidential and inaccessible until February. But despite the failure of the injunction, he plans to continue litigating the case.

While concerned about security, especially following the weekend’s mass shooting in Orlando, Lapine said he hoped people would still attend Pride events:

“I hope that everyone still attends, I don’t want that to stop, but just be vigilant,. … Understand that the committee doesn’t really have security at the perimeters, so if you see something, go and report it to police, because the committee has abandoned their duties.”

SF Pride spokesman Sam Singer today said that following the weekend’s shooting at an Orlando gay nightclub, the Pride Committee is working with police, the FBI and other federal law enforcement agencies to bring in additional security measures for the Civic Center celebration and parade.

Those attending the events will see more uniformed officers, but “most of the security measures will be invisible,” Singer said:

“This is a very safe event, it’s a public event. … It’s an opportunity to memorialize those who lost their lives to an act of terrorism in the LGBT community. It’s an opportunity also to express joy at all the gains in civil rights the LGBT community has made.”