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Crime

New York police stand guard outside Stonewall Inn, 47 years on from brutal raids

Nick Duffy June 13, 2016

The Empire State Building is one of many iconic New York landmarks to be lit up in rainbow colours for Pride month

New York police officers stood guard outside the historic Stonewall Inn yesterday after the Orlando attacks.

50 people were killed and 53 injured yesterday in the shocking terrorist hate crime attack, which saw a gunman open fire inside The Pulse gay bar in Orlando, Florida.

ISIS has since claimed responsibility for the attack, which was perpetrated by US citizen Omar Mateen. The majority of the victims were Latino.

Following the attack, and an averted attack at a Pride parade in Los Angeles, security has been stepped up around LGBT venues.

In New York, Mayor Bill de Blasio directed police to stand guard outside historic LGBT venue the Stonewall Inn – a poignant moment, 47 years after a police raid of the venue sparked the Stonewall riots and the early gay rights movement.

The Mayor said:  “We are vigilant, we have deployed our critical response command and our strategic response groups, so you’ll see a lot of additional police presence on the streets of the city, in some of the heavy trafficked areas, you’ll see police presence in front of some key LGBT community institutions.

“There are no credible threats directed against New York City. At the same time, we are on high alert.”

James Waters of the NYPD counter-terrorism unit, told local press: “We’ve selected locations in the downtown area like the Stonewall and the vicinity. We will be moving from place to place and moving our resources around.”

A statement from the Stonewall Inn said: “Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and families in Orlando. We stand in solidarity and in sadness with our entire LGBT community.

“We are working closely with the NYPD and the 6th precinct;

“The NYPD is in contact with law enforcement authorities in Florida, as well as the FBI, and are closely monitoring developments in the investigation.

“Meanwhile the NYPD has placed Patrol and Counter-terrorism resources, including CRC, SRG and ESU personnel, on alert pending further information.

“New Yorkers should know that the NYPD has more than 500 officers dedicated solely to terror response, hundreds more to the prevention of incidents, and is constantly working with law enforcement and community partners to counter terror.”

Members of the local LGBT community also created a shrine to the Orlando victims outside the Inn, with one sign bearing the slogan ‘Stop the Hate’.

The Stonewall riots were sparked in 1969 to protest police brutality and crackdowns on LGBT people after repeated raids of the Inn.

Some of the first Pride marches began on the anniversary in 1970, and Prides are still often known as ‘Christopher Street Day’ Parades in honour of the pub’s location..

Heightened security measures have been put in place at many other LGBT venues and events around the world.

More: Gay, New York, New York City, NYPD, Orlando, Orlando Massacre, police, Pride, Stonewall, Stonewall Inn, US

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