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Arlington police chief attends ‘Pride with the Police’

Event held at Freddie’s Beach Bar

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Pride with the Police,
Arlington Police Chief Andy Penn with Freddie Lutz at the Pride with the Police event. (Blade photo by Lou Chibbaro Jr.)

Arlington, Va., Police Chief Andy Penn was among a contingent of 15 Arlington police officials and officers who mingled with a crowd of customers on the outdoor patio at Freddie’s Beach Bar and Restaurant on June 25 at an event called Pride With The Police.

Freddie Lutz, owner of Freddie’s gay bar and restaurant in Arlington’s Crystal City neighborhood, said he was pleased to accept an invitation by the Arlington Police LGBTQ+ Liaison Team to host the event.
Among the police officials attending the event, in addition to Chief Penn, were three deputy chiefs, the director of the department’s Restaurant and Nightlife Liaison Team, and Det. Matt Rihl, leader of the LGBTQ+ Liaison Team.

After being greeted by and chatting with many Freddie’s customers, Penn told a Washington Blade reporter he was delighted to participate in the event.

“It was organized to make sure we are constantly in contact with people in the community, in all communities,” he said. “Our starting point is to make sure we have true bonds, true relationships with everybody across the community. And the way to do that is to get out and spend time with people just talking and listening to their concerns.”

Asked how he views his department’s relationship with the LGBTQ community in Arlington, Penn said, “I feel like it’s positive. I hope it’s positive.” He added, “If there are areas of concern I certainly want to know because whatever we can do to make sure that we have the strongest and best relationship possible – we’re committed to doing that.”

Rihl, who has been a member and subsequently the leader of the department’s LGBT+ Liaison Team since it was created in 2007, said the unit provides educational outreach to the LGBTQ community on issues of concern to that community, including the types of crime that some LGBTQ people become victims of. Among those issues, he said, are same-sex domestic violence and online dating scams in which criminals pose as a potential dating partner to gain access to a gay person’s home, where they rob and sometime assault the unsuspecting victim.

Penn said he was unaware of any anti-LGBTQ hate crimes that have occurred in Arlington in recent years.

The Pride With The Police event took place from 5-7 p.m. on a Friday, when many of Freddie’s customers stop by after work at nearby office buildings, including the Pentagon, which is located less than a mile away.

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Maryland

Moore pardons more than 175,000-plus cannabis-related convictions

Governor signed executive order at State House on Monday

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Maryland Gov. Wes Moore (Public domain photo/Twitter)

BY BRENDA WINTRODE and PAMELA WOOD | Gov. Wes Moore pardoned more than 175,000 cannabis-related convictions Monday, nullifying guilty verdicts decided when carrying small amounts of the drug or paraphernalia was illegal.

The Democratic governor signed an executive order during a State House ceremony, granting clemency to thousands of people convicted in Maryland. The convictions to be pardoned include more than 150,000 misdemeanors for simple possession and more than 18,000 for possession of drug paraphernalia with an intent to use.

The rest of this article can be read on the Baltimore Banner’s website.

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Local

Blade wins multiple journalism awards

Society of Professional Journalists recognizes writing, design work

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The D.C. chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists honored the work of the Washington Blade at its annual Dateline Awards dinner last week.

The Blade took top honors in the weekly newspaper editorial/opinion writing category for a piece by Michael Lavers, the Blade’s international news editor, titled, “Bearing witness to the unimaginable,” which recounted watching raw footage of Hamas’s attack against Israel on Oct. 7.

In it, Lavers wrote, “The Israeli government clearly wants the world to understand the barbarity of what happened on Oct. 7, and that is why it has shown footage of that horrific Saturday to journalists and lawmakers. The footage left me deeply shaken, and perhaps that was the point.”

Washington Blade graphic designer Meaghan Juba won the Dateline Award for front-page design in the weekly newspaper category.

And in the weekly newspaper-features category, the Blade’s Kathi Wolfe was recognized as a finalist for her piece titled, “Meet one of the most powerful disabled people on the planet.”

“These awards reflect our 55-year commitment to journalistic excellence,” said Blade Editor Kevin Naff. “Congratulations to our team for another year of award-winning journalism.”

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Baltimore

Baltimore Pride event disrupted by possible chemical agent, causing panic and injuries

Incident caused a stampede

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This year’s Pride Parade and Festival was expected to attract 100,000 people. (Photo by Kaitlin Newman/the Baltimore Banner)

BY JOHN-JOHN WILLIAMS IV and BRENNA SMITH | A possible chemical agent was released in front of the main stage at the Baltimore Pride Parade and Block Party on Saturday night, causing a stampede.

The incident occurred around 7 p.m. and police did not release the chemical agent, according to a spokesperson. The main stage for the event was located near North Avenue and Charles Street.

The rest of this article can be found on the Baltimore Banner’s website.

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