June 9, 2018 at 11:04 pm EDT | by Michael K. Lavers
Police investigating threat against first-ever St. Croix Pride parade

The first-ever Pride parade in St. Croix took place on June 9, 2018. The FBI and the Virgin Islands Police Department continue to investigate a threat made against the event. (Photo public domain)

Police in the U.S. Virgin Islands are investigating a threat made against St. Croix’s first-ever Pride parade that took place on Saturday.

Lavonne Wise, an LGBT rights advocate who helped organized the Pride, sent the Washington Blade a screenshot of the threat that was left on Facebook.

“Everyone that owns AK-47 needs to stay on roof tops and gun them down !!!!,” reads the post. “They are tipping the scale. No balance. They will become our destruction if we as a whole don’t to (sic) something. They are trying to destroy Reproduction (sic). No sin will be brought against humans for killing.”

The parade took place without incident.

A spokesperson for the San Juan FBI Field Office, which oversees the territory, and Virgin Islands Police Commissioner Delroy Richards, Sr., on Friday confirmed to the Blade they are investigating the threat.

Richards during a telephone interview described the threat as “one of the most disgusting ones” made against Pride, which also included cultural and social events.

He said St. Croix Police Chief Winsbut McFarlande met with his commanders and appeared on the island’s radio stations in the days leading up to the parade. Richards told the Blade his department planned to “provide adequate coverage,” while also noting parade organizers had received the necessary permits.

“We believe that folks have a constitutional right to march or to protest,” he said. “The police department will do all within its resources to monitor and attempt to minimize the threat.”

Wise after the parade thanked the police department.

“Thank you Virgin Islands Police STX Division,” she told the Blade in a brief Facebook message. “You are the best!”

Hurricane Maria caused widespread damage on St. Croix on Sept. 19, 2017, before making landfall in nearby Puerto Rico. Hurricane Irma less than two weeks earlier devastated St. Thomas and St. John, which are also part of the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Michael K. Lavers is the international news editor of the Washington Blade. Follow Michael

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