A senior Metropolitan police officer has apologised for the confusion over an incident at Pride London earlier this year.
Commander Steve Allen said that “deep upset” had been caused to the trans community by earlier reports, based on a joint response to the incident from the police and Pride organisers and distributed to the press.
It stated there was an altercation.
“The incident took place in the public toilets within Trafalgar Square where a trans woman was denied access to the female toilets,” it read.
“As a result a number of trans community members decided to stage a demonstration within the entry area to the toilets, an argument ensued, and the steward at the toilets was barged and pushed up against a wall, and inappropriate language was used.”
After a meeting with trans activists, Commander Allen said that mistakes had been made and the initial statement was incorrect.
“It is clear that members of the trans communities and the officer found themselves involved in a set of circumstances for which the trans communities were not responsible,” he wrote.
“They were clearly the victims. It has been claimed that the demonstrators assaulted stewards – examination of CCTV evidence demonstrates that these claims are mistaken.”
Christina Alley, one of the trans people who witnessed the event, welcomed Commander Allen’s “gracious and comprehensive” apology.
“This is a very welcome first step in building trust and understanding between the Police authorities and the trans communities in London,” she said.
“It is a gracious and comprehensive apology, setting the record straight about the peacefulness of the trans protesters, committing to a thorough investigation of the attacks on two trans people in the toilets, and to trans awareness training for all LGBT liaison officers within the Police Service.
“This is a very important milestone in trans/police relations and in the securing of rights for trans people in London.”
Pride London was held on 5th July. More than 800,000 people took part, among them Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, and Sir Ian McKellen, star of the Lord of the Rings movies.