That time the NYPD apologized for raiding the Stonewall Inn

JUNE 26 2016: The 46th annual NYC Pride March featured over 350 contingents, marching from 36th Street to Christopher & Greenwich Sts
A police vehicle at the 46th annual NYC Pride March on June 26, 2016 Photo: Shutterstock

With Pride festivals around the nation canceled or postponed, LGBTQ Nation is bringing the celebration to you with our new series “Flashes of Pride.” We’ll look back at some of our community’s finest moments from the past few years as a reminder that no matter what life throws our way, queer people will fight our way through it and dance when we hit the other side.

50 years after it sparked a worldwide movement for LGBTQ rights, the New York Police Department finally apologized for raiding the Stonewall Inn in 2019. The Stonewall Riots, as they came to be known after queer people fought back, throwing rocks, bottles, and bricks, torching cars, and filling the streets, are known as one of the seminal events in the fight for full LGBTQ equality.

Related: Parades might get canceled, but Pride never will be

New York police commissioner James P. O’Neill apologized on behalf of the force during a safety briefing related to Pride month at Police Headquarters.

“I think it would be irresponsible to go through World Pride month and not to speak of the events at the Stonewall Inn in June of 1969,” O’Neill said. “I do know what happened should not have happened. The actions taken by the NYPD were wrong, plain and simple.”

“The actions and the laws were discriminatory and oppressive, and for that, I apologize.”

“I vow to the LGBTQ community that this would never happen in the NYPD in 2019,” he added. “We have, and we do, embrace all New Yorkers.”

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