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NYPD cop who won hearts with viral dance at Pride dies, aged 44

Nick Duffy March 16, 2017
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The police officer who went viral with his surprising dance moves at New York Pride has passed away, aged 44.

NYPD Officer Michael Hance, who is straight, made headlines in 2015 after he was filmed dancing with a reveller at the city’s Pride parade.

In the clip, the officer – assigned to protect the parade – is approached by Pride marcher Aaron Santis as Michael Jackson’s ‘Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough’ plays.

The officer then begins to twerk and grind on Santis, to applause from the crowd.

NYPD cop who won hearts with viral dance at Pride dies, aged 44
The short video received more than 8 million views on YouTube, and Hance won raise for his openness to the LGBT community.

Respects were paid this week after the officer passed away from brain cancer.

Hence served with the NYPD for 17 years, and was part of the emergency response after 9/11.

He was diagnosed with brain cancer in November after collapsing outside his home – but it quickly spread to his lungs, liver and chest.

The proud cop is survived by daughter Kaitlyn, 12, and Jenna, 10.

NYPD cop who won hearts with viral dance at Pride dies, aged 44

Brian Downey, the president of the NYPD’s Gay Officers Action League, paid tribute to the cop.

He told the New York Daily News: “I was as impressed as I was happy… he isn’t a member of GOAL or the LGBT community, but we were elated to see that video.

“It represented the true spirit of the police family. That’s what 99.5% of cops are like.”

Paige Ponzeka, who recorded the video, added: “It was really special. Aaron had danced in front of a lot of cops, but they were not as responsive.

“Then we saw this officer get into it. He understood what the parade was about — about having fun and being yourself.”

“The best part [was] that he was straight and was still having fun at the parade.

“That was a great message to send. A lot of cops have a tough-guy vibe, but he had the vibe that you can have fun and there was nothing wrong with that.”

In recent years there have been growing tensions between Pride and police.

Police were recently banned from marching at Pride Toronto after a dispute with ‘Black Lives Matter’ protesters who claimed police presence made the event ‘anti-black’.

In the UK, transgender students voted to try and block police from attending Pride events – branding them racist, classist and transphobic.

At a national conference, trans students passed a motion that vowed to “support and organise actions against police presence at Prides” because “many trans people have faced mistreatment and violence at the hands of the police”.

It resolved “to encourage Prides to not have a police presence as part of parades, especially Pride events organised by students unions”.

More: Gay, LGBT, Michael Hance, officer, police, Pride, US

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