NEW YORK — New York City’s police commissioner has apologized for the 1969 police raid at the Stonewall Inn that catalyzed the modern LGBT rights movement.
Commissioner James O’Neill said Thursday that “the actions taken by the NYPD were wrong” at the gay bar in New York City’s Greenwich Village.
He called the actions and laws of the time discriminatory and said, “For that, I apologize.”
The apology comes just weeks ahead of the 50th anniversary of the raid and the rebellion it sparked on June 28, 1969, as patrons and others fought back against officers and against a social order that kept gay life in the shadows.
It wasn’t the first time that gay people had demonstrated or clashed with police, but it proved a turning point that spurred a wave of activism.
City Council Speaker Corey Johnson thanked the police commissioner for the apology. “We appreciate this apology. Thank you Commissioner O’Neill. This is so wonderful to hear during Pride.”