The NYPD apologized for the Stonewall Inn raid 50 years later.
“I think it would be irresponsible of me as we go through World Pride Month not to speak of the events at the Stonewall Inn in June of 1969,” NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill stated at a safety briefing. “While I’m certainly not going to stand up here and pretend to be an expert on what happened at Stonewall, I do know what happened should not have happened.”
50 years ago, law enforcement raided the Stonewall Inn gay bar, alleging the bar violated liquor laws. At the time, many states had laws criminalizing same-sex relations or had outlawed displays of affection between same-sex couples. The queer and trans patrons fought back against the harassment and confronted officers that night by throwing stones and bottles at them. Protests lasted days and resulted in arrests, injuries, and store damage. The incident is considered to have marked the start of the modern-day gay rights movement.
Police officials have always maintained that the raid was justified. Leaving a tense relationship with LGBTQ+ communities. The NYPD has been pressured in the past by local organizations and leaders to apologize for officers’ actions that night.
After his statement, O’Neill received roaring applause.