DOWNTOWN SACRAMENTO — Songs and chants echoed throughout downtown Sacramento Sunday but not everyone was showing their support of this year’s Pride parade.
“Stand in solidarity with the trans people of color who don’t feel safe by the police presence here,” said protester Steven Sander.
Protesters yelled in the streets over the event organizer’s decision to allow uniformed police officers to take part in Pride.
“They are fundamentally disinterested in protecting you and me,” Sander said. “They’re only interested in protecting the corporate powers that be.”
The LGBT Community Center’s Board of Directors initially banned police from marching in uniform at the parade, saying the Stonewall riots inspired Pride 50 years ago and those were against police brutality.
However, they reversed their decision in exchange for several LGBTQ outreach initiatives by police.
“It’s very important to remember our history and know our history but at the same time, what are we going to do for tomorrow? How do we get through that and make tomorrow better for people who that it wasn’t so good in the past?” said Sacramento Police Chief Daniel Hahn.
Hahn said they’ve agreed to add a community advisory committee, new officer training, community forums and a new liaison all to focus specifically on LGBTQ issues.
As police marched in the parade Sunday, many members of the LGBTQ community sat out.
“That’s not something that we really wanted to be a part of,” said Christ Kent, who is with the Lavender Library. “So, we’ve put together our own event.”
The Lavender Library hosted an afternoon of storytelling, face painting and celebration to show their pride in their own way.
“Sure, we want to celebrate ourselves, we want to have fun, but it’s about more than just that. Pride is a moment for us to commemorate the Stonewall riots,” Kent told FOX40.
The protesters did remain peaceful and said they just wanted their voices to be heard.