Improving Security a Focus as Pride Weekend Kicks Off in San Francisco - NBC Bay Area
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Improving Security a Focus as Pride Weekend Kicks Off in San Francisco

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The mood in the Castro District was festive Friday as SF Pride kicked off with the Trans March. It was tense earlier in the evening, though, when politicians were booed off the stage in Dolores Park. Jean Elle reports. (Published Saturday, June 25, 2016)

    Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to pour into San Francisco for the Pride Parade this weekend.

    But in the wake of the deadly shootings in Orlando, this year's festival is taking a different tone with improving security a priority.

    Signs of support following the Orlando shootings can be seen along with an increased police presence in San Francisco's Castro District.

    "I trust that the community that voted for me trusts me well enough to know and respect my leadership, and would respect my decision that I made not to participate in Sunday's event," said Janetta Johnson, an executive director of the Transgender, Gender Variant and Intersex Justice Project. "And a part of that is the large police presence.

    Improving Security a Focus as Pride Weekend Kicks Off in San Francisco

    [BAY] Improving Security a Focus as Pride Weekend Kicks Off in San Francisco
    Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to pour into San Francisco for the Pride Parade. But in the wake of the deadly shootings in Orlando, this year's festival is taking a different tone. Christie Smith reports.
    (Published Friday, June 24, 2016)

    The festivities kicked off Friday with the Trans March and the transgender community celebrating the unveiling of Gene Compton's Cafeteria Way, which honors the place where trans people rioted over police harassment in 1966.

    "I think that the world is ready to see us as people because that's who we are," said Grand Marshall Nya Cruz.

    The march drew hundreds of participants, but the crowd turned sour when city and state leaders took the mic at Dolores Park to talk about legislative support for the community. Senator Mark Leno was booed off the stage and security personnel hurried Mayor Ed Lee to his car.

    "This is our time, not a time for politicians," one reveler said.

    However, politicians like Leno have been fighting for trans rights for years. Meanwhile, Lee just appointed Theresa Sparks as his Gender Equity Advisor.

    "It's the first time [the position has] ever been created anywhere in the country," Sparks said.  

    Police to Increase Security for SF Pride Events

    [BAY] Police to Increase Security for SF Pride Events
    A week after the deadly Orlando attack, San Francisco is preparing to host one of the largest Pride events in the country. Michelle Roberts reports.
    (Published Monday, June 20, 2016)

    As the city revved up for Pride, though, the San Francisco Department of Public Health advised people Friday to get vaccinated after the State Department of Health announced an outbreak of meningococcal disease.  

    Black Lives Matter Bay Area organizers on Friday also said they were withdrawing as Grand Marshals for the Pride Parade in response to the increased police presence and security measures.

    San Francisco Police Department Deputy Chief Michael Redmond said plain-clothes officers will be out throughout venues and all Pride-related events.

    There will also be several security check points set up around Civic Center Plaza, police said. New this year will be banning large bags or purses at the event and everyone will have to walk through a metal detector to enter the festival.

    The city said there are no known threats to Pride Week. Officials are asking eveyrone who will be in the city this weekend to sign up for emergency alerts by texting "alertsf" to 888-777.

    For more information on the Pride Parade and street closures, visit SFPride.org.

    NBC Bay Area's Michelle Roberts and Bay City News contributed to this report.

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