NEW YORK - Detective Brian Downey, head of the Gay Officers Action League, says there’s been "no direct contact" with NYC Pride officials ever they decided in May to ban NYPD uniformed officers from participating in Pride events through 2025.
Pride officials like Andre Thomas do not dispute Downey's description but say the ball is in the NYPD's court.
"We would like for them to reach out and extend a hand, we're always open to that," Thomas said.
"While I personally don’t agree with it and am disappointed," Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said of NYC Pride's decision. "I know we will rally and come together and we will get through it."
The commissioner appeared at an event at One Police Plaza on Thursday, touting the department's progress when it comes to inclusivity and equity.
That progress includes the department’s apology, issued two years ago, for its role in the Stonewall riots, the birth of the modern gay rights movement.
It is progress that NYC Pride officials acknowledge, but they still say it’s not enough.
"There still has to be acknowledgment of not just Stonewall in 1969," Thomas said. "But of current events, for us to be able to rebuild trust with the NYPD."
Pride officials have also asked NYPD protective units to stay at least a block away from any events that may draw a crowd. This year’s events-- though they will be smaller than a typical year—won’t be non-existant, and crowds will pop up. The NYPD says where that happens, they'll protect it just the same.
"There’s a little bit of frustration toward the NYPD, towards certain communities," says Chief of Department Rodney Harrison, "They’re going to have to understand that we're going to have to be there to make sure we protect the city at the end of the day."
Because the Gay Officers Action League will not be marching in any official Pride event this weekend, the group's members have decided to hold their own celebration on Sunday.
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