NYC Pride bans NYPD from participating in events including march

NEW YORK (WABC) -- NYC Pride announced Saturday that they are taking steps to reduce the law enforcement presence at events.

Starting this June, police and corrections will not be allowed to participate in the Pride March until at least 2025.

"This announcement follows many months of conversation and discussion with key stakeholders in the community," NYC Pride Co-Chair André Thomas said.

Organizers says they will be working with a private security firm and will be asking the NYPD to stay a block away from all events including the March which draws a large crowd.

"NYPD is not required to lead first response and security at NYC Pride events," NYC Pride said in a statement. "All aspects of first response and security that can be reallocated to trained private security, community leaders, and volunteers will be reviewed. An increased budget for security and first response will allow NYC Pride to independently build a first response emergency plan using private security and provide safety volunteers with de-escalation training for first response when necessary."

NYC Pride organizers say the NYPD will provide first response and security 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 where possible," the statement read.

The NYPD released a statement on the NYC Pride's decision.

"Our annual work to ensure a safe, enjoyable Pride season has been increasingly embraced by its participants," the NYPD said. "The idea of officers being excluded is disheartening and runs counter to our shared values of inclusion and tolerance. That said, we'll still be there to ensure traffic safety and good order during this huge, complex event."

On Friday, the NYPD Gay Officers Action League also said they were "disheartened" by the decision "in order to placate some of the activists in our community is shameful."

NYC Pride organizers say that they are looking "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."


"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," NYC Pride organizers said.

ALSO READ | Long Island school's soccer field vandalized with damages totaling $38K
EMBED More News Videos

The soccer field at Our Savior New American School has been vandalized several times since December, with damages now totaling more than $38,000.



----------
* More New York City news
* Send us a news tip
* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts
*Follow us on YouTube
Copyright © 2021 WABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.