CBS4 (WFOR MIAMI)
Wilton Manors Stonewall Festival Will Go On
WILTON MANORS (CBSMiami) – In the wake of the Orlando massacre targeting the gay community, organizers are evaluating their security measures for the upcoming Wilton Manors Stonewall Festival and Parade.
“The situation is fluid and evaluation is ongoing. Security and safety remains our top priority, said Wilton Manors Mayor Gary Resnick in a statement. “Throughout the planning process, the Wilton Manors Police Department and others have been working with the Broward Sheriff’s Office, the FBI and other law enforcement agencies, and will continue to do so.”
The 17th Annual Stonewall Parade and Street Festival will take place Saturday, June 18, 2016.
The annual parade and festival commemorates the 1969 Stonewall Riots, draws approximately 30,000 individuals from all across the country.
“The Wilton Manors Stonewall Festival is about one thing – equality,” said Mayor Resnick. “In the wake of this massacre, we are reminded that our community must remain strong and promote equality for all. Wilton Manors is not just a physical address, we are the heart and soul of the LGBT community.”
Sunday, around 2 a.m., Omar Mateen entered the Pulse Orlando nightclub armed with an AR-15 rifle and a handgun and began shooting.
A uniformed police officer near the entrance of the club fired back as did additional officers who made their way towards Mateen who retreated to the bathroom.
Police breached a bathroom wall and were able to rescue dozens of clubgoers. Mateen also got out through the same hole and engaged in a gun battle with officers who killed him.
Before he died, Mateen fatally shot 49 people and wounded another 53, most had critical injuries.
Sunday evening more than 600 people gathered at Wilton Manor’s Pride Center in honor of those who died. Guest speakers included religious leaders and Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
Members of the tight knit LGBT community said they won’t give in to terror.
“We’re not going to stop what we’re doing. We’re going to keep going exactly what we’re doing,” said Scott Bennett.
June if Pride Month. Parades and special events are taking place across the country. Local law enforcement agencies say there will be extra security for those planned here.