SEATTLE — Capitol Hill Pride will ban police at its June march and rally in Seattle, because the organization isn’t confident Seattle officers will protect the public’s right to protest.
The organization announced the ban Friday, saying it will ask police to remain on the perimeter of the rally at Cal Anderson Park on June 26-27.
“To the safety and courtesy of the LGBTQ and diversity community as well as the general public our responsibility is to present a safe event and is dedicated to creating an atmosphere free of fear or harm for members of the community,” Capitol Hill Pride Directors Charlette LeFevre and Philip Lipson said in a release.
Capitol Hill Pride cited ongoing lawsuits against alleged Seattle police misconduct during last summer’s protests, the role of six Seattle police officers in the U.S. Capitol siege on Jan. 6 and “ongoing concerns of white supremacy views” within police departments as reasons behind the ban.
For its rally, Capitol Hill Pride said it hoped to work more closely with the fire department and have a medic unit on site.
Seattle Pride, which is a separate entity from Capitol Hill Pride, has opted for a virtual Pride celebration this year due to the pandemic. Seattle Pride will have online events June 26-27.
Seattle Pride is also seeking community input on the organization’s involvement with the Seattle Police Department moving forward and will review the feedback as it plans for its in-person celebration in 2022. Provide input on Seattle Pride’s website.