“Or the Pulse nightclub massacre, the second-deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history?” [Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor] wrote when listing examples of America’s “social system of discrimination” that “created an environment in which LGBT people were unsafe.”
However, it was well established in the following investigation, and the trial of the shooter’s widow, that he was unaware that the nightclub was a gay club and seemed to pick the target at random after his first plan to attack Disney fell through.
“Mateen had never been to Pulse before, whether as a patron or to case the nightclub. Even prosecutors acknowledged in their closing statement that Pulse was not his original target; it was the Disney Springs shopping and entertainment complex,” the Huffington Post reported.
“They presented evidence demonstrating that Mateen chose Pulse randomly less than an hour before the attack. It is not clear he even knew it was a gay bar. A security guard recalled Mateen asking where all the women were, apparently in earnest, in the minutes before he began his slaughter,” it read.
Sotomayor’s other presented example, the 1998 murder of Matthew Shepard, also doesn’t stand up to scrutiny as motivated by anti-LGBT hatred. Journalist Stephen Jimenez’s investigative book, The Book of Matt, based on 13 years of research, concluded that Shepard’s death was the result of a meth deal gone awry rather than a hate crime. He reported that Shepard was previously sexual partners with one of his killers.
Fellow Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch bashed Sotomayor’s dissent, saying that it “reimagines the facts” from “top to bottom.”