SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – On Wednesday, San Francisco Pride’s Board Directors voted to ban the city’s uniformed police officers from participating in the 2021 Pride Parade.
For many years, SFPD’s Pride Alliance was a part of the parade, whether it be driving their patrol cars or walking the parade.
This landmark decision stems from a violent encounter with police and protesters during the 2019 Pride Parade.
The Pride board asked for a review from the Department of Police Accountability, DPA, but say no accountability came from it.
“It’s a big decision, especially being San Francisco Pride and we always, even going back to when we canceled this year’s celebration, we always understand the magnitude of anything that we do,” Carolyn Wysinger said.
On Wednesday, board president, Carolyn Wysinger, says the decision is based on events that unfolded in the 2019 Pride parade, seen in this cell phone video.
Police are seen pushing protestors, eventually dragging one across the ground and arresting them.
“There was a demonstration that occurred in our 2019 parade that did result in an hour and a half delay of the parade, some of them jumped over the barricade and chain linked themselves/made a link across the parade route. Without going into too many details of what happened, there was an interaction between the police and protestors which resulted in a very violent result and an arrest of two of the protestors,” Wysinger said.
In the months following the altercation, the Pride Board requested a review from the DPA into the use of force from the responding officers.
After a year of review, the DPA dismissed all counts based on “insufficient evidence”.
“The reasons of inconclusive or insufficient evidence were distressing because they are things across the black community, the LGBT community we always see when it comes to holding police accountable for violence in our community,” Wysinger said.
SFPD Chief William Scott responded to the board’s decision in a statement, part of it reads as follows:
“As the Chief of Police, I am disappointed in the Pride Board’s decision to exclude uniformed SFPD Officers from participating in the 2021 Pride Parade. I believe it is important for our members to participate in Pride Month activities so we can show firsthand that we are a diverse department, that we are proud of who we are and that we are willing to work closely with the LGBTQ community we serve.”
While uniformed police won’t be participating in the actual Pride Parade, they will continue to work the pride events as security.
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