A gay sergeant with the Seattle Police Department has sent a scathing letter to Seattle’s Capitol Hill Pride, after it banned officers from attending the 2021 parade due to last summer’s riots and concerns about “white supremacy.”
In a press release on Friday, Capitol Hill Pride – which has no connection to the larger, annual Seattle Pride – announced its ban against police officers attending the parade, which is due to take place on June 26 and 27.
Declaring its commitment to create “an atmosphere free of fear or harm,” the organization requested that police stick to the perimeters of the event, citing “ongoing concerns of white supremacy views within police departments,” among other reasons.
An unnamed police sergeant, however, shot back at Capitol Hill Pride in a letter on Saturday which was republished by the conservative Post Millennial news website, accusing the organizers of spreading hate.
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Revealing himself to be a gay man with a “disabled military veteran husband” and two adopted “children of color,” the sergeant wrote that he “could not be more disappointed in what I and many LGBTQ officers feel” is Capitol Hill Pride’s “blatant hate” against police officers.
He also condemned the “hypocrisy” of not allowing offices to attend the parade, while at the same time requesting police protection from the perimeter “in the case someone treats you as you have us.”
Concluding that his protests against Capitol Hill Pride’s decision are his alone and not necessarily the department’s, the sergeant called on organizers “to do what’s right in the future.”
The Seattle Police Officers Guild has also condemned Capitol Hill Pride’s police ban “in the strongest language possible,” with guild president Mike Solan calling the move “disgusting, bigoted, discriminatory,” and contradictory to the “inclusive LGBTQ message.”
“Our LGBTQ members serve our community with distinction and pride. They value inclusiveness and demand respect not only for proudly being LGBTQ but for serving our community as police officers,” Solan declared, adding that anyone who “believes in their banishment has no place in Seattle.”
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The unconnected and larger Seattle Pride issued its own statement on Friday disassociating itself from Capitol Hill Pride’s ban.
Pointing out that 2021’s event will be a completely virtual event due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Seattle Pride reiterated that it “is not in any way associated” with Capitol Hill Pride nor “their decision to disallow police participation.”
It did, however, say that: “Given concerns about policing in Seattle, Seattle Pride wants to hear from those most impacted and is inviting community input which it will be reviewing as it develops plans – and coordinates mandatory security requirements with the city – for next year’s parade.”
This is not the first time that a Pride event has banned police from attending, with the other most recent example being New York City Pride, which has banned police until at least 2025.
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