Pride org says they will make time available for public apology during WorldPride
WorldPride 2019 NYC and Stonewall 50 producers will offer Police Commissioner James P O’Neill the stage of the June 28th Stonewall 50 Commemoration Rally. They are requesting a public apology to the LGBT community for the violent police raid in 1969 of the Stonewall.
The Executive Board of Heritage of Pride issued the following statement:
“Last night, we voted unanimously to demand that the NYPD formally apologize to the LGBTQIA+ community for the violent police raid that triggered the Stonewall Uprising. We offer our stage at the Stonewall 50 Commemoration Rally on Friday, June 28, 2019 for Police Commissioner James P. O’Neill to do so on behalf of the Department.”
Commissioner O’Neill and the NYPD have made significant strides in improving relations with LGBT New Yorkers. But the Department has yet to take responsibility for the decades of police violence committed against the community in New York City said Heritage of Pride in a statement. “Taking responsibility and apologizing for this single event is a small, albeit meaningful step towards improving the larger systemic issues that continue to cause significant harm to LGBTQIA+ people,” said the statement. “It demonstrates what is possible for the future of our community and our movement.”
Law enforcement officers have become fixtures in Pride marches and parades around the world in recent years. At the same time, calls have grown louder for those same officers, people who are proud of their work serving the community and their ability to live and work openly, to be banned from marching. In New York City, the Gay Officers Action League had to fight in federal court for the right to wear their uniforms in the NYC Pride March. “And yet these same officers are expected to accept the consequences of actions they played no part in,” said the statement, “…despite the work they have done to affect change from within.
Heritage of Pride said the NYPD owes it to their LGBT officers to apologize. “It will allow GOAL members to walk down 5th Avenue this June 30th, in the largest Pride March the world has ever seen, with a renewed sense of pride in their employer and their community.”
“The Department can never take back what it has done to LGBTQIA+ people, but it can and must take responsibility for it. Commissioner O’Neill and the NYPD, the eyes of the world are on our city, and we call upon you to show what real change can look like.”
The statement concluded, “The platform is yours on June 28th.”