SAN LORENZO, Calif. - An increased safety plan has been implemented at the San Lorenzo Library following a weekend incident where members of the Proud Boys stormed Drag Queen Story Hour.
The incident happened on Saturday, June 11, where drag queen Panda Dulce was set to read to a group of children. She told KTVU the Proud Boys interrupted the start of the story hour and start shouting at her, calling her "a groomer" and "a pedophile."
The Alameda County Sheriff’s Office said it is increasing the presence of officers at the library. On Tuesday, a handful of officers were seen keeping an eye on Pride activities, including a button making and keychain class called "Show Your Pride."
Sue Granzella, a former elementary school teacher in San Lorenzo, showed up offer support. She sat outside the library with hand drawn signs in support of Pride.
"It’s appalling to me that people can come out and attack other people in front of children just for being who they are," Granzella said of the incident.
The sheriff’s office is investigating the incident, but that has spurred anger toward the department and library. Lt. Ray Kelly said the department has received hundreds of emails and calls from people across the country. He said the library has received threats too.
"There’s been a lot of nasty messages, emails and phone calls, but we’re not going to stand down from providing a safe space for every member of our community," Kelly said.
Kelly said hate speech doesn’t always constitute a hate crime. He said it is a complex investigation balancing a fine line between free speech and hate leading to criminal behavior. It will be up to the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office to determine if any crime was committed.
Granzella said some adults should take a lesson from kids in this situation.
"One of the beautiful things about working with young children is you get a big sense of hope for the world and you see how inclusive and accepting children can be and then we see how awful and intolerant adults can be," she said. "I think it’s shameful."
East Bay Congressman Eric Swalwell is scheduled to visit the library Wednesday.