An incident in Fort Lauderdale, Florida took place this weekend killing one man and injuring two others. The incident has been reported as a ‘terrorist attack’ by multiple news outlets. Why did they jump to a terrorist attack? Because the mayor said so.
During a pride parade a truck went into the crowd causing the fatal accident. Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis, who was present for the accident, prematurely called the event a terrorist attack to the public.
“This was a terrorist attack against the LGBTQ community. He came here to destroy people. This was clearly no accident.”
After Trantalis’ statement many media outlets ran the story based on his words. After an investigation, police verified the incident was in fact accidental. Officials reported one of the participants of the parade, a 77 year-old man, pushed the gas instead of the break causing the truck to go into the crowd. Police conducted a DUI investigation on the driver, there were no signs of impairment.
The mayor since then has released a statement clarifying that the event “terrorized me and all around me.” In addition to alluding that his (very direct) quote was misconstrued, he also pointed out the danger two members of Congress were in. Tony Katz says Trantalis really showed his leadership skills this time.
“May I just say, if that is your statement after the fact that you just deemed it terrorism, you’re terrible at this. Two members of Congress were at risk? They’re lives mean more? …he was terrorized by it? That’s what he’s going to claim? ‘No it wasn’t a terrorist attack, I was simply terrorized by it.’ You want to talk about bad leadership there you go. That’s bad leadership.”
In conclusion, this is why you can’t trust headlines. Read the full story, listen to official reports, and like your mother always said ‘take everything with a grain of salt.’