A Kansas man has been indicted on expenses of threatening to commit violent assaults at a Delight occasion in Nashville this month, federal prosecutors mentioned on Tuesday.
The person, Joshua Hensley, 25, commented on a sponsored Fb submit for Nashville Delight on April 26 and threatened to “make shrapnel strain cooker bombs for this occasion” and to “commit a mass taking pictures,” the indictment mentioned.
F.B.I. brokers arrested Mr. Hensley, who the authorities say additionally makes use of the identify Josh Echo, at his residence in Hoisington, Kan., on June 15, the Justice Division said in a news release.
A grand jury indicted Mr. Hensley on two counts of transmitting an interstate risk to kidnap or injure, every of which carries a most penalty of 5 years in jail and a $250,000 positive. He’s scheduled to seem at a detention listening to in Wichita, Kan., on Friday. His lawyer didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.
“We won’t tolerate hate-based, threats of violence designed to intimidate Tennesseans,” Henry C. Leventis, the U.S. legal professional for the Center District of Tennessee, mentioned in an announcement.
The F.B.I. said in March that hate crimes elevated practically 12 p.c from 2020 to 2021, the latest yr for which statistics can be found. Of the 12,411 known victims of hate crimes in 2021, 15.9 p.c had been focused due to the offenders’ sexual orientation bias and three.2 p.c had been focused due to the offenders’ gender id bias, the F.B.I. mentioned.
Nashville Delight, which is able to happen on Saturday and Sunday, features a parade and a pageant with meals distributors, market stalls and live shows. Organizers mentioned in an announcement on Wednesday that there had been no credible risk towards the occasion and that they appeared “ahead to making a protected and safe area for the L.G.B.T.Q.+ group to be authentically and vulnerably themselves this weekend.”
“Security and safety has, is, and can all the time be a prime precedence for Nashville Delight,” the assertion mentioned. “Whereas no credible risk existed, Nashville Delight is grateful for the F.B.I. and the U.S. legal professional’s workplace for his or her proactive efforts and response.”
The pageant works with a non-public safety firm in addition to native, state and federal companies to design and implement security measures, the assertion mentioned.
Nashville Delight started in 1988 with a march attended by 125 folks and grew to draw 1000’s of individuals within the early 2000s, based on the festival website. In 2019, earlier than the coronavirus pandemic, greater than 75,000 folks attended, WTVF-TV reported.
This yr’s occasion coincides with a push by Republicans in Tennessee, and throughout the nation, to enact legal guidelines that focus on L.G.B.T.Q. Individuals. The Human Rights Marketing campaign, an L.G.B.T.Q. advocacy group, mentioned that state legislatures had introduced more than 520 bills this yr that assault L.G.B.T.Q. rights.
In March, Gov. Invoice Lee of Tennessee, a Republican, signed a invoice into regulation that restricts drag exhibits and bans gender-affirming medical look after transgender youth. A federal decide ruled this month that the drag regulation was unconstitutional, stopping it from being enforced in Shelby County, which incorporates Memphis. Tennessee’s legal professional basic, Jonathan Skrmetti, a Republican, mentioned he anticipated to attraction the choice and maintained that the ruling didn’t have an effect on the regulation’s utility in the remainder of the state.
The Justice Division has asked a federal court to cease the medical care ban from going into impact on July 1.