NYC Pride said Saturday it is taking steps to reduce police presence at its events, ABC 7 reported.
“Starting this June, police and corrections will not be allowed to participate in the Pride March until at least 2025,” the outlet said.
In its statement, NYC Pride explained the organization “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”:
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 is unwilling to contribute in any way to creating an atmosphere of fear or harm for members of the 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.
Organizers will work with a private security firm and ask the New York Police Department (NYPD) to remain a block away from events including the march, according to the ABC 7 report.
“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’s statement read.
“NYPD will provide first response and security only when absolutely necessary as mandated by city officials,” it continued.
The decision comes after years of pressure from LGBTQ activists who “have maintained that law enforcement was out of place at a march with roots in the 1969 anti-police riot outside the Stonewall Inn in Manhattan,” according to the New York Times.
In a statement Friday, the NYPD Gay Officers Action League (GOAL) said it was saddened about the decision to ban the group from taking part in NYC Pride.
“Heritage of Pride (NYC Pride) has long been a valued partner of our organization and its abrupt about-face in order to placate some of the activists in our community is shameful,” the statement read.