With Police Barred from NYC Pride for Years, So Much for 'Building Bridges'

Posted: May 16, 2021 2:15 PM
With Police Barred from NYC Pride for Years, So Much for 'Building Bridges'

Source: AP Photo/Seth Wenig

As NYC Pride prepares for their events, it turns out they'll be anything but inclusive. Police will be barred from being part of NYC Pride events "effective immediately" from the announcement made on Saturday, until 2025. The reason is exactly what you'd expect. As part of a statement from NYC Pride reads:

NYC Pride announces new policies to address the presence of law enforcement and NYPD at Pride events in New York. NYC Pride seeks to create safer spaces for the LGBTQIA+ and BIPOC communities at a time when violence against marginalized groups, specifically BIPOC and trans communities, has continued to escalate. 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. The steps being taken by the organization challenge law enforcement to acknowledge their harm and to correct course moving forward, in hopes of making an impactful change.

NYC Pride also tweeted about their decision.

In reporting on the decision for the New York Post, Jesse O'Neill included statements from Detective Brian Downey, who is the president of the NYPD’s Gay Officers Action League:

Detective Brian Downey, 41, president of the NYPD’s Gay Officers Action League, said hundreds of members of the police department have been marching for nearly four decades in good faith and solidarity with the community.

“GOAL was embraced by the community because it was viewed as agents of change. This was progress, it wasn’t contention,” Downey told The Post Saturday night.

Downey said some distrust of the police is “justified,” but his organization is about “building bridges,” both in the community and at One Police Plaza.

“Having the courage to go into the institution as a gay or queer person… you’re going in there with that struggle that is your own identity and you’re bringing it inside that system,” Downey said.

“I have used a position of considerable power … to open the door for other people that don’t share my same experience and give them a voice at the table.”

Other figures also tweeted their disagreement.

Townhall spoke to Mike Jones, a past recipient of the Harvey Milk lifetime achievement award, about the decision. "Well once again this shows the intolerance of the radical gay community. But rest assured, if there is trouble, they will be screaming for the police.  You want inclusion, then practice what you preach.  You want a safe space in life, stay home and mind your own business.  As a gay man, I refuse to be afraid or a coward. The rainbow flag is for everyone or it is for no one," he said.