The organisers of New York City Pride say that police officers will be banned from attending events for the next 4 years.
In a statement, they announced that all members of law enforcement will be barred from participating in the annual march, adding that they will be asking to keep on-duty officers at least a block away from the parade route.
“The steps being taken challenge law enforcement to acknowledge their harm and to correct course moving forward, in hopes of making an impactful change,” NYC Pride said in a tweet.
In a press release, the organisers explained:
“The sense of safety that law enforcement is meant to provide can instead be threatening, and at times dangerous, to those in our community who are most often targeted with excessive force and/or without reason.
NYC Pride is unwilling to contribute in any way to creating an atmosphere of fear or harm for members of the community.”
As ‘Unilad’ reports, the news has been met with opposition from LGBT+ officers. In a statement, the Gay Officers Action League – a non-profit representing gay and lesbian law enforcement in the city – said they were “dishearted” by the decision, describing it as a ‘shameful’ attempt to ‘placate some of the activists in our community.’
A spokesperson for the New York Police Department told AP: “The idea of officers being excluded is disheartening and runs counter to our shared values of inclusion and tolerance. That said, we’ll still be there to ensure traffic safety and good order during this huge, complex event.”
New York City Pride organisers say they will be increasing the presence of community-based security and first responders, with NYPD officers expected to be present “only when absolutely necessary.”
The move comes four years after Toronto Pride organisers first agreed to ban uniformed officers from attending Pride events in the city. A similar move to ban Met Police officers from London Pride this year was rejected by parade organisers.
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