East Bay Rep. Eric Swalwell and several members of the local LGBTQ community reacted in disgust Thursday to an incident last weekend at the San Lorenzo Library, where authorities say a group of apparent Proud Boys disrupted a Drag Queen Story Hour event with homophobic and transphobic slurs.
“To the Proud Boys, what I tell you today is: You have nothing to be proud of for what you did” to children on Saturday, Swalwell said at a news conference. “And it would be a compliment to call you boys … becuase you acted like babies.”
The comments came after Swalwell met with several members of the local LGBTQ community and local law enforcement officers at the library.
On Saturday, at least five apparent members of the Proud Boys — a far right-wing extremist group — disrupted a Drag Queen Story Hour event by threatening the event’s organizer with homophobic and transphobic slurs and briefly forcing the performer to flee for safety, according to the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office.
On Thursday, sheriff’s Lt. Ray Kelly said that investigators had identified the men who disrupted the event — all of whom live in the Bay Area, but not in Alameda County, he added.
No arrests have been made, Kelly said, because investigators were still trying to determine whether what happened Saturday falls under the definition of a hate crime, or whether it’s protected free speech.
“These cases, as simple as it sounds, when you get down to some of these constitutional issues, you have to figure out where does the free speech stop and where does the criminal behavior begin,” Kelly said.
He added that the sheriff’s department was working with the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office, which will make the final determination on whether to file charges in the case.
Check back for updates to this developing story.