The Sacramento LGBT Community Center in California is getting ready for their big annual pride parade this month, but they’d like to make a few changes. One group they would like to exclude from the march is uniformed police officers. This stunningly bad idea is apparently an effort to “show respect” for those who have historically been “harmed by police violence.” (Washington Times)
Organizers of a pride parade in the California state capital have banned uniformed police officers from participating in this weekend’s march and other festivities.
The Sacramento LGBT Community Center said it asked city officers not to participate in uniform to honor “the pain and marginalization of community members who have been harmed by police violence.”
The center said in its statement posted on social media on Friday that police officers can partake in civilian clothes and pointed out that officers in uniform will be on duty at festivities Saturday and at the march Sunday.
Event organizers have been in discussions with police for some time and allowing officers to attend in plain clothes is a compromise, the center said.
So this rejection of uniformed police officers is supposed to be a symbolic gesture honoring “those harmed by police violence.” While there certainly have been some rogue cops that have engaged in violence, have the organizers of this parade stopped to consider what sort of violence they might be subjected to if the Klan or the neo-nazis show up and start running people down? The police aren’t there to beat up the parade participants. They’re on hand to make sure nobody else does.
A “compromise” of allowing the police to show up in civilian clothes isn’t much of a compromise at all. While detectives and a few other LEOs go about in suits, the uniforms worn by the rank and file police are important. They demonstrate to all present that law enforcement is there and on the job. In the event of some eruption of violence, it allows people to quickly separate the good guys from the bad guys. If a cop in plain clothes has to beat down someone attacking the marchers, onlookers and even other cops may not be able to distinguish who the troublemaker is when responding.
While we do regrettably come across the occasional rotten apple in uniform, such instances are vanishingly rare. The vast majority of cops are decent people who risk their lives to keep the public safe. Telling them to not show up for your parade isn’t only poor planning. It’s insulting to our first responders. Perhaps the police should just skip the event entirely and let the marchers deal with any criminal activity themselves.