Joshua Hensley, also known as Josh Echo, has been charged with two counts of transmitting an interstate threat. According to the Department of Justice, Mr Hensley commented on a Facebook post for Nashville Pride and threatened to “make shrapnel pressure cooker bombs for this event.” He threatened in another comment to “commit a mass shooting.”
If convicted of the charges he’s now facing, Mr Hensley will face up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000.
“We will not tolerate hate-based, threats of violence designed to intimidate Tennesseans,” U.S. Attorney Henry Leventis said in a statement. “We will continue to work with our partners at the FBI to ensure that the civil rights of all persons are protected.”
The Nashville Pride parade is set for Saturday, and has taken on renewed importance this year as the Tennessee state legislature has moved to ban gender-affirming care for minors and drag performances in public spaces. The drag ban has been rejected as unconstitutional by a federal judge.
The legislative moves against transgender rights and LGBT+ representation in the state are part of a broader political climate that has seen state legislators introduce more than 400 anti-LGBT+ bills in states across the country this year.