Toronto police say they will withdraw their application to march in the city’s Pride parade after event organizers said the presence of uniformed officers would make members of the LGBTQ community feel unsafe.
Chief Mark Saunders says in a statement that he hopes the move “will be received as a concrete example” of the fact that he is listening closely to the community’s concerns.
The announcement comes a day after Pride Toronto and other LGBTQ community groups posted an open letter online asking police to withdraw from the parade.
Pride Toronto executive director Olivia Nuamah says the organization wants police to better communicate with the community rather than focus on participating in the summer parade.
Nuamah notes that the force’s handling of several high-profile deaths connected to the city’s gay village, including the disappearances of six men allegedly murdered by an accused serial killer, have shaken the community’s relations with police.