Calif. LEOs blocked from wearing uniforms while marching in Pride parade

For the second year in a row, uniformed police officers will not be participating in the Sacramento PRIDE parade

By Molly Sullivan, Candice Wang, and Theresa Clift
The Sacramento Bee

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — For the second year in a row, uniformed police officers will not be participating in the Sacramento PRIDE parade after organizers asked them not to wear their uniforms.

“To honor the pain and marginalization of community members who have been harmed by police violence, we have asked Sacramento Police not to participate in uniform for the 50th anniversary of Stonewall,” the Sacramento LGBT Community Center said in a Facebook post Friday.

A Sacramento LGBT Community Center spokesperson did not immediately respond to comment about the uniform ban.

The center said in a social media post that event organizers had been in “discussions with police for some time.” Uniformed cops didn’t participate last year, but this year officers were invited to attend in plain clothes as a “compromise.”

“Rejection of the compromise fails to acknowledge the pain and historical abuses police institutions have inflicted on the most marginalized in our community,” the LGBT Community Center said in a Facebook post.

“Sad that inclusion doesn’t really mean everybody,” Capt. Norm Leong of the Sacramento Police Department wrote in a Facebook post. “Worse part is to hear how much this hurt our LGBTQI officers who looked forward to participating.”

Councilman Steve Hansen, the city’s first openly gay council member, said, “I’ve had a lot of conversations over the last few days with the stakeholders and I’m optimistic that there will be a constructive path forward on the issue.”

In a statement emailed to The Sacramento Bee, the police department said, “Our police department is disappointed that the LGBT Center does not want our officers attending upcoming public community events while in uniform. We support our LGBTQ officers who proudly serve our community on a daily basis. They have worked hard to earn these uniforms and are proud to wear them.”

Events for SacPride 2019 will begin Saturday morning at Capitol Mall.

©2019 The Sacramento Bee (Sacramento, Calif.)

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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