INDIANAPOLIS — In addressing their solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, the Indy Pride Board of Directors announced on Thursday that it would no longer have a police presence at any of its future events, including the Indy Pride Festival.
"Indy Pride will no longer contract with or utilize police departments for security at the Indy Pride Festival and other events, unless necessary for road closures," the Indy Pride statement read.
Police departments will only be allowed to provide support blocking traffic at Indy Pride festivals due to a city mandate, but are not permitted to participate in the events.
Security for Indy Pride event will be sought out through private firms to still maintain a safe environment for all attendees.
"We know there are many in our community who are law enforcement professionals and you are welcome at our events and still part of our community; however, we respectfully request that you do not wear your uniform at the Indy Pride Festival or other events," Indy Pride's announcement read.
The board's message to its community addressed the importance of centering Black and African American people to the forefront of discussions as the nation continues to protest against police brutality.
In supporting the Black Live Matter movement, Indy Pride has canceled all virtual Pride Month events originally created in place of in-person Pride events due to COVID-19 concerns. The organization will still host its Indy Pride Virtual Festival on Saturday, June 20.
"At Indy Pride, we believe that Black Lives Matter. The Indy Pride Virtual Festival will uplift black and brown people in our community, spotlight their stories, and showcase their contributions to our community," Indy Pride's statement read.
"It is important now more than ever to remember the first Pride marches were protests against police brutality led by brown and black people. This is the time for our community to listen to communities affected by violence, to protest with them, and to support them in all ways possible."