For decades, before and after the riots, some law enforcement officers and agencies targeted known LGBTQ-friendly establishments in an effort to shut them down, brutalize patrons, and arrest people who violated the homophobic and transphobic policies of the time, according to the National Park Foundation, an organization that focuses on U.S. history and education.
The Stonewall Uprising of 1969, the culmination of days of protests and clashes with police, was the catalyst for the modern gay rights movement and is what NYC Pride commemorates each year.
However, this June, the annual march will look slightly different -- law enforcement officers won’t be marching in the parade for the first time since about 1981 and there will be a reduced police presence at the organization's events. The ban will remain in place until 2025.
The decision comes as event organizers reckon with the legacy of brutality and abuse against the LGBTQ community by police that they say still continues today.
“Part of the trauma and triggers that our community faces are directly tied to that uniform,” said David A. Correa, the interim executive director at Heritage of Pride, Inc., the nonprofit organization that hosts most of the city’s major Pride events. “To be fully inclusive, you have to make the space safe for everyone. And that sometimes means compromise, and Black and brown people and indigenous people have been compromising for centuries.”