Fights, reported chemical spray mar SF Pride festival :: Bay Area Reporter


As the first in-person Pride parade and festival since 2019 was winding down June 26, the celebration was cut short after someone sprayed what may have been Mace into a crowd outside the main stage at Civic Center. That followed a melee only a few moments before.

Police were informed around 5:25 p.m. — 35 minutes before the event was due to end — of a vocal dispute near the portable toilets and arrived to find a large number of people embroiled in a physical fight. After police broke up that incident, an unidentified woman allegedly let loose on the crowd near the main stage with a can of what SF Pride said was Mace.

Performing on the main stage at the time was headliner Martha Wash, who was whisked off stage for safety and had her set ended early. SF Pride officials then decided to cut the event short.

“It’s important we let people know that at the time, it was a person spraying mace into the crowd,” SF Pride stated later in a statement issued through social media. “Although no one was harmed, we know it was not a pleasant experience. We decided to cut the performance short in the interest of safety.”

On Monday Honey Mahogany, who was hosting the main stage of Pride with fellow drag queen Sister Roma, shared video on Twitter of what the Sunday scene looked like from their vantage point. She thanked Pride’s security team for how it handled the situation.

As people were leaving the event “a whole bunch of fights” were reported, San Francisco Police Department public information officer Kathryn Winters told the San Francisco Chronicle, although they were much smaller than the fight minutes before.

Around the same time, reports of a shooting outside the festival near Seventh and Market streets drew police to that location but, according to a tweet sent out by Winters, “Officers weren’t able to locate any victims/witnesses. Doesn’t appear to be merit to shooting in area…”

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