Pride Toronto 'Welcomes' Police to Attend Without Uniforms, Weapons or Cruisers
The organizers of Toronto’s Pride parade say they welcome police participation in the event in so much as uniforms, weapons and cruisers are left at the police station.
A statement released by Pride Toronto Sunday night states “LGBTQ+ police officers and their allies are not banned from the parade.”
“We welcome and encourage their participation to add to Pride this year as members of our community,” the statement read. “LGBTQ+ police officers and their allies can march in the parade with community groups, with the City of Toronto, or even create their own group.”
“We are simply requesting that their participation not include the following elements: uniform, weapons, and vehicles.”
Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders announced in February that officers will not take part in this year’s parade after Pride Toronto members voted in January to remove police floats following pressure from Black Lives Matter Toronto.
Police participation in the Pride parade was put into question last year after the Toronto chapter of the Black Lives Matter group staged a sit-in that halted the event for nearly 30 minutes.
The Toronto chapter of Black Lives Matter has constantly been under criticism for their forceful tactics, calls for the deaths of 'sub-human' and 'genetically inferior' white people and branding Prime Minister Justin Trudeau a 'white supremacist terrorist.' They also showed up at Premier Kathleen Wynne's home and have taken part in what would be considered 'hate speech' for anyone who is not part of BLMTO.