NSW Police prefer pinkwashing to real accountability


The pressure that the NSW Police, conservative media and state government have placed on Mardi Gras to change their decision to uninvite the NSW Police to the Sydney Mardi Gras parade is an insult to the pain and hurt Sydney’s LGBTIQA+ community is feeling.

This isn’t just about the tragedy last week. 

Just three months ago, the Special Commission of Inquiry into LGBTIQ hate crimes reported back finding that the NSW Police still treated scrutiny of their actions with contempt. 

The Police cannot treat the LGBTIQA+ community like a marketing opportunity to pinkwash their brand while treating attempts to interrogate their actions with contempt. No institution is entitled to queer spaces and queer support while refusing to take the required steps to right historical and present wrongs.

In the same week Commissioner Karen Webb gave her apology to the families of gay hate crime victims, Webb accused friends and families grieving the loss of two beloved LGBTIQA+ community members of being “haters.”

The NSW Police should take a step back this year and actually address the recommendations of the Special Commission of Inquiry.

Quotes attributable to Stephen Bates MP, Australian Greens LGBTIQA+ Spokesperson

This is not just about the tragedy of last week. This is about holding the NSW Police accountable for their inaction in response to the NSW Special Commission of Inquiry into LGBTIQ Hate Crimes as part of the historical injustices that have been perpetrated by the Police against the LGBTIQA+ community.

Just days after making her apology in response to the Special Commission report, the Police Commissioner dismissed the hurt and grieving of many in the LGBTIQA+ community and lashed out against Mardi Gras’ simple request that the Police respect our pain this year. 

The Australian Federal Police listened to our community and took a step back this year. The NSW Police should too.

Quotes attributable to Dr Amanda Cohn MLC, NSW Greens LGBTIQA+ Spokesperson

LGBTIQ hate crimes are not just historical. The pain and grief of queer communities in NSW is tangible right now, and parts of the community don’t feel safe reporting threats or violence to police.

The NSW Police marching at Mardi Gras won’t erase decades of systemic violence or patch the wounds still open today. We want to see the NSW Police Force use this year to commit to the transformative change that LGBTQIA+ communities need, including by implementing the recommendations of the Special Commission of Inquiry.

Last  weekend, NSW Police Commissioner Karen Webb apologised to the families of gay hate crime victims who were denied justice as a result of systemic failures within the NSW Police Force, but provided no commitment to reform.