Man at pro-police counter protest shouts “kill transgenders” at Black Lives Matter rally in suburban Pittsburgh | News | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Man at pro-police counter protest shouts “kill transgenders” at Black Lives Matter rally in suburban Pittsburgh

click to enlarge Pro-police protesters next to Mt. Royal Boulevard in Shaler - SCREENSHOT TAKEN FROM VIDEO
Screenshot taken from video
Pro-police protesters next to Mt. Royal Boulevard in Shaler
On Sat., July 25, a group of about 150 demonstrators gathered in front of Shaler Area Middle School to show solidarity to the Black Lives Matter movement. According to Christopher Chirdon, who lives in Shaler and both attended and helped organize the event, the rally was largely led by young people of the group called Shaler Area Anti-Racist Advocates.

From 4-5:30 p.m. on Saturday, the Black Lives Matter protesters set up on the lawn of Shaler Area Middle School, which Chirdon says is like a de facto public gathering place in Shaler for many events. He says the event was peaceful and was part of a larger push in Shaler to get the local school district to enact anti-racist policies.

But the Black Lives Matter protest was met by about 20 counter protesters, on the other side of Mt. Royal Boulevard. The organizers of the counter protest were part of a pro-police event called "Back the Blue." According to a viral video on social media of the event, one of the counter-protesters yelled threatening messages about trans people and anti-LGBTQ slurs at the Black Lives Matter demonstrators.


“Kill transgenders, kill transgenders,” one of the pro-police protesters shouts into a megaphone. Shortly after this, the same protester can be heard shouting “you’re a [f——t]” repeatedly.
Chirdon spoke with Pittsburgh City Paper and says that many people at the protest also heard the man threatening transgender people and using anti-LGBTQ slurs. He confirms the authenticity of the video. Chirdon says that he knew of at least two trans people present at the Black Lives Matter demonstration.

“A lot of people said in the group that it hurt them,” says Chirdon of the counter-protesters threats and slurs.

According to a poster for the Back the Blue rally, the pro-police protest was supposed to run from 3-4 p.m. on Saturday. And the Black Lives Matter protest started at 4 p.m., but the pro-police crowd apparently stuck around and crossed the street to counter the larger Black Lives Matter crowd.

Chirdon says the counter protesters were being “loud and being jerks” during the youth lead Black Lives Matter demonstration. Video shows the pro-police waving Thin Blue Line flags and holding Blue Lives Matter signs while one man is shouting threats to kill trans people.


The entire more than 90-minute audio of the event was posted on a local blog, which can be heard here.  

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