Indy Pride is severing ties with the Indianapolis Police Department after the emergence of a disturbing video showing their officers groping and beating two unarmed Black female protesters. The group also revealed in their statement the cancellation of all Pride events scheduled for June as a show of solidarity with the Black Lives Matter protests. The Indy Virtual Pride Parade will still take place on Saturday, June 20.
"Indy Pride is meant to be a safe place where people celebrate LGBTQ+ uniqueness, history, and build community," the statement reads. "For many in our community who have experienced police brutality, the presence of uniformed officers and police at Pride do not create this safe environment."
Video footage shows a group of Indianapolis police officers surrounding two unarmed Black female protesters. At one point, an officer is seen grabbing the breasts of one of the protesters in what appears to be an attempt to wrestle her to the ground. Multiple officers can be also seen beating the unarmed women repeatedly. One woman is hit multiple times on the front and back of her right legs as she screams "why?" repeatedly.
\u201cDON'T LOOK AWAY.\n\nThe cop groped her and when she tried to break away, she was beaten while standing still.\n\nTHIS IS AN ATTEMPT TO CRUSH DISSENT LIKE A DICTATORSHIP\n\nhttps://t.co/j4Kzei2INx\u201d
This is not the first time the Indianapolis Police Department has faced criticism for its brutality against people of color. Most famously, officers shot and killed Sean Reed as he was livestreaming via Instagram Live. One of the officers can be heard after the shooting joking "Looks like it's going to be a closed casket, homie." The officer has since been suspended.
Out has refrained from embeddng the footage as it can provoke pain and trauma for other Black folks, no matter the intended reason. It is still available online.
Indy Pride announced they will use private security firms to maintain a safe environment at future events. The group also acknowledged the LGBTQ+ community includes members of the law enforcement community and made clear they are still welcome at Indy Pride events, but asked that they not wear their uniforms at events.
By severing ties with the police department, Indy Pride has made it clear where they stand in the current Black Lives Matters protests taking place across the nation.
"It is important now more than ever to remember the first Pride marches were protests against police brutality led by brown and black people," they wrote. "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."