On Sunday, at least four people were arrested in New York City after clashing with police during Pride celebrations. This was the first year that organizers had banned the force participating in the event.
Four NYPD officers were arrested Sunday in Washington Square Park by a spokesperson. They were allegedly trying to cross a barricade and biting an officer.
Reporters who were present at the scene posted photos to social media, describing large numbers of police officers, some wearing riot gear, or riding on bikes, facing crowds and blocking roads.
Numerous reports claimed that the NYPD used pepper spray against crowds. However, the NYPD did not confirm this and did not respond when Forbes asked for comment.
After organizers created “safe spaces” to ensure that the event was safe, NYPD officers in uniform were prohibited from participating in this year’s event. This is at a time of increasing violence against marginalized groups, particularly BIPOC, and trans communities.
The Gay Officers Action League stated that it was “disheartened by the shameful ban”, which will last until 2025. Organisers said that this is a “challenge to law enforcement to “acknowledge (to marginalized community) their harm and take corrective action.”
NYC Pride had arranged for private security to be present at Pride. Meredith Cash , Business Insider’s tweet stated that there were “hundreds” of officers at the event.
The first Pride celebrations to take place in person since the outbreak of the pandemic were held this year, but some events took place virtually. The large Pride March was a mostly online affair, but other marches like the Queer Liberation March & Rally or the Dyke March were held in person. There has been controversy about the participation of police officers in Pride events around the globe. Some events, such as New York and Toronto, prohibit uniformed officers from participating, while others (London and Sydney) allow them to.