SF Pride attorney gets title of shooting video changed on YouTube

An attorney for SF Pride successfully compelled a YouTube user on Thursday to disassociate the shooting of five people on Saturday with the annual LGBT event.

David Wilton, a local attorney, originally titled his video “Shooting, Civic Center, Pride Festival … ” which drew the ire of the Pride organization and prompted its attorney, Brooke Oliver, to demand removal of the video, plus $10,000 in damages. The shooting occurred at Seventh and Market streets, blocks away from the center of the traditional Pink Saturday pre-Pride celebration in the Castro district.

Wilton posted a letter from Oliver on his website.

“Nothing in the video has any connection with SF Pride or the Pride festivities. You simply chose to sensationalize your posting by wrongly associating a violent tragedy with the safe and peaceful, SF Pride,” the letter says. “It harms SF Pride's ability to attract attendees and sponsors for future events by creating the false impression that the event and festival were the site of a violent shooting.”

Wilton eventually redacted the Pride references in the video title and posted the letter from Oliver in the description. He said Oliver retracted the demand for $10,000 and encouraged him to attend Pride events in the future.

Wilton expressed dismay over the situation, and wrote that even though the crowd wasn’t gathered for Pink Saturday specifically, the intersection would not have been so busy without it. He also noted the Pride organization’s recent well-documented financial instability.

“Once I recovered from the shock and outrage of being told I had defamed an event that I have attended for years and even participated in, I was amused by this ham-fisted effort to tamp down any bad publicity from violence within the penumbra of an SF Pride event,” Wilton wrote.

dschreiber@sfexaminer.com

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