Happy Pride from the women of the SFPD!!! pic.twitter.com/ITyirrzc9r— Teresa Ewins (@TLCapt) June 26, 2016
In the wake of the Orlando attacks, SF Pride organizers arranged for security screenings at the event's entry points and a San Francisco Police Department presence significant enough that multiple groups pulled out of the event, saying that they were "more afraid of police than terrorists." It will probably be a great relief to those groups that thus far, no reports have been made of violence at the hands of police officers — and arrests, at least on Pink Saturday, were actually down from last year.
According to San Francisco Police Department spokesperson Sargeant Michael Andraychak, the preliminary arrest numbers for Saturday in "the areas encompassing Tenderloin, Northern and Mission Commands" (aka the places most Pride action is happening) are as follows:
- Medical Calls Reported to SFPD: 5
- Public Intoxication: 11
- Misdemeanor Arrests: 5 including: 3 misdemeanor arrest warrants and 2 assaults
- Felony Arrests: 3 including: 2 felony warrant arrests and 1 case of criminal threats
- Sobering Center Patients: 12
According to last year's Saturday numbers, there were about 39 arrests, 20 medical calls, and 13 sobering center patients on the first day of Pride, alone.
Of course, there are numerous factors at play in addition to the metal detectors and cop presence: For example, the traditional Pink Saturday street party was replaced by a much smaller event at The Eagle; attendees weren't allowed to bring alcohol into the Civic Center event; and drones, which we all know are the root of all evil, were banned from flight over the celebration.
The heightened security was apparently viewed as a positive by attendees who spoke with local news outlets — one told ABC 7 "I feel pretty safe, I think that it needs to be implemented and I think it's a good idea," as CBS 5 reported that "The enhanced security didn’t mar the party atmosphere Sunday as the parade with men in glittery white wings walked on stilts and women in leather pants rode motorcycles in downtown San Francisco."
Assuming Sunday's numbers are similarly solid (they won't be released until this afternoon, Andraychak says), we can likely expect this level of security to continue in future — much to the mixed emotions of local politicians like Supervisor Scott Wiener, who told ABC 7 that "I don't like the fact that there are metal detectors going into Civic Center Plaza, but I'm not going to second guess the pride committee's decision to try to keep people safe."
After all, as SFPD spokesperson Officer Grace Gatpandan told KRON 4, “We’re not going to back down from more police, or more presence in these events."
"We’re here to keep people safe, and we’re going to do so in every way possible."
Related: (From 2015) Pride Saturday's SFPD Activity By The Numbers
Pink Saturday Officially Cancelled This Year
All Civic Center Pride Attendees Must Pass Through Metal Detector, Undergo Weapons Search
Saying They're 'More Afraid Of Police Than Terrorists,' Black Lives Matter Pulls Out Of SF Pride