Law enforcement and corrections staff will be barred from attending New York City Pride celebrations until 2025, according to festival organisers.
In a statement released Saturday, NYC Pride announced that corrections and law enforcement exhibitors will be banned from its events until 2025 and organizers will not mention, spotlight interview or otherwise promote law enforcement officials across its social media or other media channels and will not allow the New York Police Department to “speak at its events or use any NYC Pride platform.”
The organization also plans to take steps to reduce NYPD presence at events while simultaneously providing increased community-based security and first responders.
According to organisers, the NYPD can provide first-responder and protection “only when absolutely necessary as mandated by city officials.”
“In these instances, NYC Pride will review foreseeable NYPD involvement and, in partnership with surrounding venue precincts, take steps to keep police officers at least one city block away from event perimeter areas when possible,” according to the release.
In defending the move, NYC Pride cited an increase in brutality against vulnerable populations, “specifically BIPOC and trans communities”
“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,” organizers said.
“NYC Pride is unwilling to contribute in any way to creating an atmosphere of fear or harm for members of our 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.”
After 2025, NYC Pride’s executive board, Community Relations and Diversity, Accessibility and Inclusion committees will review corrections and law enforcement involvement in its events.
The Gay Officers Action League, or GOAL, responded to the decision saying it was “disheartened” by the ban.
“Heritage of Pride is well aware that the city would not allow a large-scale event to occur without police presence. So their response to activist pressure is to take the low road by preventing community members from celebrating their identities and honoring the shared legacy of the Stonewall Riots,” GOAL President Brian Downey said.