Following a press conference on heightened security at this weekend's upcoming Pride Parade, NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton told reporters and Pride organizers that he did not believe the NYPD owed the LGBTQ community an apology for the Stonewall Riots of June 1969.
"There is no denying that out of that terrible experience came so much good," Bratton told reporters. "It was the tipping point, if you will. So I think we should all celebrate that out of that terrible experience, a lot of good came."
"An apology? I don't think that's necessary," he added. "The apology is all that's occurred since then."
To evidence improved relations, Bratton motioned to a group of openly gay NYPD officers sitting before him.
Bratton made his remarks at the LGBT Community Center on West 13th Street, about ten minutes' walk north of the Stonewall Inn—a popular gay bar in the late 1960s, frequently raided by a police force that also made a habit of arresting gay New Yorkers on lewdness charges. The riots, which broke out during a routine NYPD raid over liquor licenses, resulted in injuries on both sides. Stonewall Inn recently earned landmark status, and is considered the site of a significant turning point in LGBTQ history, catalyzing a global push for LGBTQ rights.
Mayor de Blasio also referenced Stonewall during Thursday's press conference. "We have the most vibrant LGBT community anywhere in the world, and we are the birthplace of the LGBT movement," he said.
As evidence of the NYPD's solidarity with that community, he referenced a new rainbow-striped patrol car parked outside the community center. "I was very struck and appreciative of the car I saw outside," he said. "It's a real act of solidarity and show of the NYPD's deep connection to this community."
"It's symbolic, but it's very moving symbolism," he added. "An NYPD vehicle painted in the pride colors: In 1969 that would have been so inconceivable; there are no words in English for it."
Addressing reporters, NYC Pride Co-Chair David Studinski suggested that the NYPD's support in 2016 is not so much sufficiently apologetic, as it is ironic.
"We could not do this without [the NYPD's] support," he said. "If you know where this movement started, you'll appreciate that irony."
Bratton said on Thursday that the large security detail will "focus on terrorism in light of Orlando." In addition to thousands of uniformed police officers, the NYPD plans to deploy a large faction of undercover officers, as well as heavy weapons teams, including the goon squad.
Officers will also be stationed on rooftops, and deployed in the harbor. Helicopters will circle overhead. Surveillance cameras and radiation-detecting devises will be scattered along the route, and train stations and subway cars en route to the West Village will also be under heavy surveillance.
"You will be safe. You will be protected," said Mayor de Blasio. "You'll see additional measures to keep us safe."