They’re apparently mad they can’t march in their work ‘fits.
Cops and queer liberation have never been compatible, so none of us should expect the police to wear rainbow g-strings and screamm, “Yas, queen” at the top of their lungs this Pride. What we should demand from law enforcement, however, is the bare minimum — which is for them to do their taxpayer-funded jobs. Unfortunately, that’s not happening in Aurora, Illinois, where an upcoming Pride parade was canceled because cops don’t want to work the event.
This week, Aurora Pride released a statement saying that the city’s police department could not supply enough sworn officers for the upcoming parade; instead, they tasked the organization to find cops from other jurisdictions on their own. “We have not been able to close the gap, despite the tireless efforts of our Safety team lead and many supporters offering their assistance,” Aurora Pride’s statement notes. “As a result, our permit is now revoked.”
If you’re like me, you’re probably a little confused. Aren’t the police obligated by some law to provide protection for situations just like this? Apparently not. Aurora’s Pride parade is considered a “privately run special event;” the city can’t mandate cops work it, so it’s up to officers to opt-in on those overtime shifts, per VICE News. What the hell?
The reason many cops are reportedly refusing to work the parade is even more infuriating. Last month, Aurora Pride released a statement saying that law enforcement officers were welcome to join the parade march, but that they had to do so out of uniform and without their service weapons. “Many members of the community feel uneasy in the presence of official law enforcement vehicles, as well as uniformed officers, due to negative experiences they themselves or someone they know have had,” the statement explained, later adding, “There will already be uniformed officers and vehicles present outside the parade route.”
Well, that’s no longer the case. In response to the organization’s statement, Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin threw a tantrum and said Aurora Pride was “hypocritical” for preaching tolerance while not accepting cops — as if not being allowed to wear your work outfit to a party was equivalent to being persecuted for centuries under Judeo-Christian pathology.
Despite the homophobic protest by Irvin and many members of the police department, Aurora Pride is determined to find a way through. “We’re not giving up,” they wrote in their most recent statement. “We’re making every effort to keep the parade as scheduled.”