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San Diego Police Department LGBT liaison officer steps down from position

Posted at 7:31 AM, Jun 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-20 12:19:53-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- The San Diego Police Lieutenant serving as the department's LGBT liaison has announced he is stepping down from the role.

In an open letter posted to LGBTQ San Diego County News, Lt. Daniel Meyer explained why and how he made the decision to leave his position as the liaison. Lt. Meyer has been the liaison for 10 years.

The news comes after San Diego Pride organizers sent a letter to the mayor announcing no law enforcement contingents would be allowed in the parade or festival, until policing changes are made, to show support for the Black LGBTQ community.

The LGBT Community Center announced it would no longer allow armed, uniformed officers at its facilities and events.

In his letter, Lt. Meyer says he found himself at a cross roads, proud of the work he's done to make SDPD a more inclusive and understanding agency. Meyer says he recognizes a need for change on a national level within community relations with law enforcement. Meyer continues, explaining that he cannot support the decisions because it "simply negates the amazing work done over decades."

To read Lt. Meyer's full letter, click here.

ABC 10News reached out to The San Diego LGBT Community Center for comment and a spokesperson sent us the following statement:

The Center has long-existing policies that include prohibiting weapons on the premises of all our facilities and only calling law enforcement into our facilities as a last resort or a true emergency. These policies will continue, and Tuesday we announced a new policy in addition. The Center’s Board of Directors has voted unanimously that, The Center will no longer allow armed uniformed law enforcement officers at any of Center facilities (including our Centre Street location, Sunburst Youth Housing Project, South Bay Youth Center, and Hillcrest Youth Center) or at Center events, unless as a last resort or true emergency.

The Center is reexamining our organization and expanding dialogue with Board, staff, volunteers and our broad community to do more than say that Black lives matter, but to actively work to be anti-racist in tangible ways and engage in actions to make it so. This includes examining our structures, policies, partnerships, vendors, implicit and explicit bias, and more. Last year, The Center heard from over 140 Black community members at our Black LGBTQ Town Hall. Many spoke of the pain and hurt that is caused when one does not feel welcome in the LGBTQ community, including at The Center. Overwhelmingly, we heard that the presence of armed uniformed law enforcement officers is a barrier to the Black LGBTQ community feeling welcomed and those clients and community feel so unwelcomed, they won’t even come to The Center to be served.

As a social service provider, we center our work through the lenses of trauma-informed care. We hear the Black community say that we cannot provide critical services like counseling and support groups that serve victims of trauma, while having armed uniformed law enforcement officers in the building, which often re-traumatizes that trauma.

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. 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.