New York City Pride announced Saturday that police and other law enforcement will be barred from attending the organization’s events until at least 2025 to “acknowledge their harm.”
NYC Pride working to provide community-based security, ensuring that the New York Police Department’s (NYPD) presence at the events is requested only “when absolutely necessary,” the organization said in a statement Saturday.
The law enforcement officers will be required to keep “at least one city block away from event perimeter areas.” The prohibition also extends to the Gay Officers Action League (GOAL), an organization comprised of LGBT police.
Effective immediately, NYC Pride will ban corrections and law enforcement exhibitors at NYC Pride events until 2025. At that time their participation will be reviewed by the Community Relations and Diversity, Accessibility, and Inclusion committees, as well as the Executive Board
— New York City Pride (@NYCPride) May 15, 2021
“NYC Pride seeks to create safer spaces for the LGBTQIA+ and BIPOC communities at a time when violence against marginalized groups… has continued to escalate,” the organizers wrote in the statement. (RELATED: Police Department Issues Rules For Interacting With LGBT People, Orders Officers Not To Question ‘Gender Identity’)
“We know many LGBT cops,” co-chair of Heritage of Pride André Thomas told ABC News. “But what the institution represents sometimes to a person of color or trans person is violence, and that doesn’t make you feel safe.”
In the previous years, around 200 NYPD officers participated in the annual NYC Pride’s marches held in June, according to ABC News.
After learning about NYC Pride’s plans, the GOAL issued a statement Friday night, condemning the decision. The LGBT police group’s members said they were “disheartened” by the unexpected move from what has long been their “valued partner.”
The group called the decision an “abrupt about-face in order to placate some of the activists in our community is shameful.”
The NYPD also criticized the ban, which they described as “disheartening.”
“Our annual work to ensure a safe, enjoyable Pride season has been increasingly embraced by its participants,” an NYPD spokesperson told ABC News. “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.”