The New York Police Department is banned from policing in New York City Pride celebrations this year.
The police ban, which also extends to New York correctional officers, will not end until 2025.
“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,” event organizers Heritage of Pride said in a statement.
“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.”
Heritage of Pride also said that it would review the presence of the NYPD as first responders and security for the event. They plan to use trained private security, community leaders and volunteers to conduct first response and security at Pride events. Organizers will only call on the NYPD “when absolutely necessary as mandated by city officials.”
The first Gay Pride parades and marches took place in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco in 1970. The parade did not take place last year due to the pandemic. In 2019, there were complaints of excessive policing. Event-goers found the departments present to be intimidating.
Despite many being in favor of the ban, The Gay Officers Action League (GOAL) has criticized the ban.
“Heritage of Pride is well aware that the city would not allow a large-scale event to occur without police presence,” stated GOAL President Brian Downey. “So their response to activist pressure is to take the low road by preventing their fellow community members from celebrating their identities and honoring the shared legacy of the Stonewall Riots [of 1969].”