As we’ve learned all too well, even places LGBT people consider safe spaces can be invaded by hate and violence.
Just hours after 49 people were murdered in Orlando, residents in New York’s Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood discovered threatening, hate-filled notes on their car windshields.
The handwritten message—slipped onto windshields between Eighth and Ninth Avenue—was long and rambling, but indicated the writer’s goal was to “kill homosexuals.”
Notes were placed in various locations, including near Vodka Soda, a gay watering hole in Hell’s Kitchen.
The NYPD has interviewed a person of interest but, according to NBC 4, he suffers from schizophrenia and authorities don’t believe he is a real danger and no charges were filed.
But Michael Guerriera, owner of City Sandwich on Ninth Avenue, is still worried: “I think by putting our guards down, we are taking it lightly,” he said. “I think the only way to do this is fight back.”
New York University also received a “broad threat of violence against American colleges and universities” on Wednesday, from an online web submission, according to NYU spokesman John Beckman.
NYPD Commissioner William Bratton said on Wednesday there have been a number of incidents this week, but none proved to be credible threats.
Bratton said where there are currently no credible threats against New York’s LGBT community, the police is taking every instance seriously.
There will be a heightened police presence at the New York LGBT Pride march on June 26, expected to be the largest in the event’s history.