The Toronto Police Service has caved in to the demands of Black Lives Matter’s local chapter and won’t participate in this year’s LGBT pride parade.
Police Chief Mark Saunders claims the decision to withdraw from the parade got to do with disagreements within the LGBTQ organizers. “We understand the LGBTQ communities are divided,” he said in a statement.
“To enable those differences to be addressed, I have decided the Toronto Police Service will not participate, this year, in the Pride parade.”
Last year, the pride parade was temporarily halted after Black Lives Matter protested the police presence during the event. The parade resumed only after “Pride Toronto” organizers issued a ban on future police floats, although the parade’s executive director Matthieu Chantelois claimed he signed the ban at the time only to stop the protest.
Back in January, during the annual meeting of parade’s organizers, members voted in support of a Black Lives Matter motion that banned all police floats and booths from future Pride parades and other LGBTQ events.
Despite that this year’s Toronto Pride Parade won’t feature police officers, the local chapter of Black Lives Matter doesn’t think it’s sufficient.
BLM Toronto spokesperson Syrus Marcus Ware said: “They are trying to flip the narrative and make it seem as if they are choosing to pull out of Pride when in fact they were uninvited.”
The group also claims they were disappointed with the Police Chief’s statement because it didn’t mention issues such as “anti-blackness and policing, around issues of carding.”
Toronto’s Black Lives Matter chapter has been in the news lately for another reason — its co-founder recently remarked that white people are “subhuman” and suffer from “genetic defects.”