A group of protesters wearing Trump
apparel at a Back the Blue demonstration over the weekend were led in
a “kill transgenders” chant.
According to local CBS affiliate KDKA
in Pittsburgh, about 100 people held a Black Lives Matter protest
outside the Shaler Area School District building. Across the street,
about two dozen people, mostly men, organized a counter-protest in
support of the police.
“The police put their lives on the
line every single day,” a demonstrator told the outlet. “They
don't care what color you are.”
Black Lives Matter protesters shouted
“black lives matter” from across the street, while the
counter-protesters volleyed with “all lives matter.”
reported that a person “appearing to be from the Back the Blue
rally began shouting, 'kill transgenders.'” The outlet did not
report on how long the chant lasted or how many people participated.
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the
nation's largest LGBT rights advocate, called on Vice President Mike
Pence, who traveled to the same Pennsylvania county for a Cops for
Trump event on Thursday, to condemn the chanting.
“Pence traveling to Alleghany County
for a 'Cops for Trump' event just days after Trump supporters chanted
‘kill transgenders’ at a 'Back the Blue' rally is a tacit
endorsement of their transphobia,” HRC Pennsylvania State Director
Ryan Matthews said in a statement. “At least 25 transgender or
gender non-conforming people have been fatally shot or killed by
other violent means so far in 2020, and Pence and these Trump
supporters are goading further violence.”
“Our community is facing an epidemic
of violence and these detestable and despicable chants inciting
murder must be condemned. While the 'Back the Blue' rally was not a
Trump sanctioned event, the protesters are clearly Trump supporters
based on their clothing and signage and they must be denounced by
Pence and the Trump campaign. Trump and Pence have consistently
refused to acknowledge the epidemic of anti-LGBTQ violence and failed
to commit any federal resources to combat this epidemic of violence.
Will they finally step up and condemn their supporters' actions?”
he rhetorically asked.