Law enforcement and corrections personnel have been banned from participating in New York City Pride events until 2025, event organizers announced Saturday.
“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,” said the organizers of the annual march 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.”
Event organizers said that they will not promote law enforcement on their social media accounts or any Pride-owned media through mentions, interviews or spotlights and “will not allow NYPD to speak at its events or use any NYC Pride platform.”
The group is also attempting to limit the presence of on-duty police officers at its events. The New York City Police Department will be used “only when absolutely necessary as mandated by city officials,” the statement said. Their goal is to keep police officers “at least one city block away from event perimeter areas where possible.”
Community-based security such as private security and first responders will be present at Pride events this year with an increased budget, Heritage of Pride said.
“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,” the statement read.
The future of the policy will be reviewed in 2025 by the Executive Board and the Community Relations and Diversity, Accessibility, and Inclusion committees, the organizers said.
In response to the announcement, the Gay Officers Action League (GOAL) said in a statement that they were “disheartened” and that the decision is “shameful.”
“Heritage of Pride is well aware that the city would not allow a large scale event to occur without police presence,” the league’s president Brian Downey said. “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.”
The New York City Pride march is scheduled for June 27.