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Capitol Hill Pride bans police officers for 2021 march and rally this June

A rainbow crosswalk in Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood. (SDOT, Flickr Creative Commons)

Capitol Hill Pride has announced a ban on participation by police at the group’s march and rally scheduled for the end of June.

This comes in the wake of a similar decision from New York City Pride, banning NYPD police officers from marching in the annual parade through 2025.

While citing many of the same reasons NYC Pride addressed, Capitol Hill Pride — which operates as a separate entity from Seattle Pride — centers its justifications specifically on recent controversies involving the Seattle Police Department, including six officers who were in Washington, D.C., during the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.

Canceled and alternate local events in spring, summer 2021

“With the current Seattle lawsuits of police misconduct using blast balls and tear gas against peaceful protestors, the six names of the SPD who visited Washington DC Jan. 6th still to be released and their extent of action in the Capitol Insurrection, along with ongoing concerns of white supremacy views within police departments, Capitol Hill Pride does not have confidence at this time in Seattle’s police ability to protect the public and to protect the public’s right to protest,” it said in a written release.

Police will instead be asked to remain at the fringes of the event, stating that “the best way the police can do their job is on the perimeter watching for violators, hate groups and potential disruptions.”

CHP also said that it plans to “work closer” with the Seattle Fire Department to have a medic unit on site should any immediate assistance be required.

Seattle Pride — which will be taking place virtually this year — also released a statement of its own on Friday regarding police presence at its events, stating that it still “wants to hear from those most impacted and is inviting community input via its website which it will be reviewing as it develops plans for next year’s parade.”

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