New Rochelle gay sleuth denounces NYC Pride March decision to ban uniformed officers
A gay New Rochelle police detective denounces the organizers of the New York Pride March for their decision to ban the event to uniformed officers.
Melissa Diniz is a youth police detective in New Rochelle, protecting the community where she grew up. She says her goal is to prevent youth crime and that she spends a lot of time interacting with young people and their families.
âIt can be difficult, but it means a lot to me to be able to help those who are a little more difficult,â she says.
The 11-year-old veteran also serves as her department’s LGBTQ + liaison, a post she says she helped create.
Diniz runs workshops to help fellow officers better understand the gay community.
âWe’re talking about direction and the right words to use, and basically I’m teaching what matters to the police and what doesn’t,â she says.
Diniz says her department has been opened up and accepts who she is and her ideas, but she is now excluded from some members of her own community.
In May, organizers of the Pride March announced that they would no longer allow police officers to hold exhibitions or participate in the event in uniform.
In a statement released last month, organizers say the decision is in part based on discomfort among some members of the LGBTQ + community and even fear of uniformed police, saying they “are unwilling to contribute in any way to creating an atmosphere of fear or prejudice for the members “. from the community.”
âIncluding one group of people makes the other group of people feel left out. So you’re just going to choose which group to exclude, which in my opinion really doesn’t make sense. This is not the solution, âsays Diniz. “You take people making change, affecting change, educating cops, you know, and you say we can’t do something because we’re copsâ¦ you say I can walk, but not in uniform. I’m still a cop, not in uniform. “
Diniz says she actually felt more supported by her siblings in blue than by her gay friends when she decided to speak out.
âAll the things I’ve done in my past make me who I am. And being a cop also contributes to who I am,â she says. “I’ll never be proud to be a cop.”
Diniz says she has no plans to participate in this year’s parade or any pride events in the city.