The president of the Gay Officers Action League (GOAL) has criticized the effort to minimize law enforcement presence at New York City's annual LGBT Pride Parade.

Earlier this month, Heritage of Pride, which organizes the parade and related events, announced a ban on police contingents until 2025. The ban extends to GOAL, a group of LGBT police.

During an appearance on NPR, Detective Brian Downey, the group's president, criticized the move.

“I don't know how triggering a bunch of cops carrying trans and pride flags behind the gay banner,” Downey said. “There's not that long ago in our history where we'd be talking about an SNL skit, a New Jersey state trooper carrying a pride flag and a transgender flag, one in each hand. And that's who we're penalizing. People – this is punitive, as far as I'm concerned, for all the sins of the criminal justice system, for all the sins of law enforcement. This is a punitive action against us.”

When host Michel Martin asked Downey whether he would attend the march out of uniform, he answered, “I more than likely would not.”

According to the Washington Blade, Heritage of Pride members voted on May 20 to allow GOAL members to march armed and in uniform, but the ban was maintained by Heritage of Pride's executive board, which voted to keep the ban.

While there will be some limited in-person festivities this year, NYC's march will be virtual due to the continued coronavirus pandemic.