NYPD apologizes for 1969 raid on Stonewall Inn gay bar
“I think it would be irresponsible of me as we go through World Pride Month 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,” he added to applause. “I vow to the LGBTQ community that this would never happen in the NYPD in 2019. We have, and we do, embrace all New Yorkers.”
Police said the 1969 raid occurred because the bar violated liquor laws. Such raids targeting gay bars were routine at the time because the New York State Liquor Authority often refused to grant liquor licenses to bars catering to gay customers. But the 1969 Stonewall riots erupted after patrons, tired of the harassment, began to fight back with some throwing empty beer bottles at police vehicles.
Pressure has recently mounted for the department to formally apologize for the raid.
Heritage of Pride said in a statement Thursday it had voted unanimously to demand the department apologize. A non-profit organization, Heritage of Pride, produces the annual events that celebrate the LGBTQIA+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, intersex, asexuality and all others) community.
“I think it would be an important step toward further healing and reconciliation, and recognizing what happened in that crucial moment,” Johnson said.