The New York City Pride March has banned the presence of all New York City Police Department officers at its events until 2025, citing a need to create a safe space for “LGBTQIA+ and BIPOC” communities. The move to ban the NYPD’s presence comes amid the rise of anti-police sentiment among the political left following the death of George Floyd in 2020.
Event organizers say that the NYPD will no longer be needed for security and first response, and that the organization will instead use “trained private security, community leaders and volunteers” to take up the role of securing the events.
“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,” said Heritage of Pride, the nonprofit that plans the New York City’s Pride events.
“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,” the statement continued. “NYC Pride is unwilling to contribute in any way to creating an atmosphere of fear or harm for members of the community,” the announcement continued. “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.”
“There’s always been aggression by law enforcement and it’s been an issue in the community for years,” said spokesperson Dan Dimant on CNN Saturday. “The events of last year, with protests over George Floyd, there have been a lot of run-ins with the NYPD, so we began to think long and hard about this decision.”
The organization states that in addition to banning the presence of the NYPD, some of whose LGBT members show up at the Pride March as attendees, all other law enforcement and corrections exhibitors will be banned until 2025, at which point they will review their participation.
“This announcement follows many months of conversation and discussion with key stakeholders in the community,” said NYC Pride co-chair André Thomas. “We would like to extend our thanks to the Anti-Violence Project which provided invaluable advice and counsel to help us take these important steps.”
The organizers say that it will only resort to seeking help from law enforcement “when absolutely necessary” or when it is “mandated by city officials.”
A spokesperson for the NYPD described the decision to ban officers from the event as “disheartening.”
“Our annual work to ensure a safe, enjoyable Pride season has been increasingly embraced by its participants. The idea of officers being excluded is disheartening and runs counter to our shared values of inclusion and tolerance,” Detective Denise Moroney said in a statement. “That said, we’ll still be there to ensure traffic safety and good order during this huge, complex event.”