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San Diego LGBT center to stop using armed, uniformed officers at facility, events

LGBT employees protected from workplace discrimination, appeals court rules
Posted at 5:58 PM, Jun 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-16 20:58:06-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — San Diego's LGBT community center, The Center, says it will not allow armed, uniformed officers at its facility or events.

The announcement comes less than a week after San Diego Pride said it would not allow law enforcement to participate in the parade or events.

The Center's Board of Directors voted that starting Tuesday, armed, uniformed law enforcement officers will not be allowed at the facility or future events unless its a last resort or true emergency, according to CEO Cara Dessert.

RELATED: San Diego Pride: No law enforcement agency contingents in Parade, Festival

"This is not about good or bad individual law enforcement officers, but rather a systemic problem in law enforcement that devalues Black lives and creates an environment in which our Black community does not feel welcomed, and in fact strikes fear and trauma," Dessert wrote, in part. Read Dessert's full statement here.

Dessert added that The Center will, "continue to engage in dialogue over the coming weeks with our community, including our Black LGBTQ community leaders as to how to better serve the Black community, and what that means for our relationship with local law enforcement."

In a statement to 10News, San Diego Police Chief David Nisleit said he was extremely disappointed with the news.

"I am extremely disappointed with the decision made by the leadership of the San Diego LGBT Community Center. Banning people because of their profession and their desire to serve the community is counter to the message of inclusion they have always stood for. The decision to exclude uniformed police officers should be reconsidered," Nisleit wrote.

Last week, San Diego Pride officials asked Mayor Kevin Faulconer and the city to support a 4-step action plan on how law enforcement can support Pride.

The statements come amid a nationwide push for police reform and reassessment on how departments are funded in the wake of the in-custody death of George Floyd in Minneapolis on Memorial Day.