Words: Steve Brown
New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson has called for the NYPD to issue an official apology for the raid on the Stonewall Inn in 1969.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of when the New York Police Department raided the Stonewall Inn and sparked the Stonewall Riots, which are considered the birth of the modern LGBTQ rights movement.
And now Johnson – who is openly gay and living with HIV – has called for a formal and official apology from the police department.
Speaking to 1010 WINS, Johnson said: “The NYPD in the past has apologised for other incidents that have occurred, so I think the NYPD apologising on this would be a very, very good thing, and it’s something they should do.
“I think it’s never bad to apologize. One thing that personally I do, is if I think I’ve made a mistake, I try to say I’m sorry, I was wrong, and I learn from that because I don’t think there is anything wrong with admitting a mistake.
“It shows decency to recognize something that you may have done wrong. I would love for it happen this month and I will bring it up to the police commissioner.
“I will have a conversation with [the NYPD commissioner] about it because I think it would be an important step toward further healing and reconciliation and recognizing what happened in that crucial moment, and not just in American history, but New York history in June of 1969.”
But the current NYPD Commissioner, James O’Neill, defended the department and said they had ‘implemented’ important changes.
O’Neill said: “The NYPD of today is much different than the department of 50 years ago, and a number of important changes have been implemented that bring the police and all the communities we serve closer together.
“More than three million people from across the globe will come to New York City to take part in World Pride and this month-long celebration of equality.
“We are looking forward to the many events surrounding this year’s milestone anniversary, and to working with all attendees to ensure that everyone not only is safe, but feels safe, too.”