Indy Pride and IMPD on high alert going into Pride weekend
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department will have a presence at Indy Pride this weekend.
Police have installed temporary surveillance cameras along the parade route, and the number of security people hired by Indy Pride is triple the amount of years past.
“We are going to have them stationed at all the major intersections, along with some IMPD officers to make sure no one drives through the crowd,” said Shelly Snider, executive director of Indy Pride.
The threats to the LGBTQ+ community are real. Organizers are on high alert, and watchful of everything around them.
“We have not had any direct threats. We have had some concerning emails of people reaching out telling us to stop going on tv and stop flaunting our sexuality in front of everybody all we are trying to do is live our lives.” said Snider
The Pride parade will start near College and Massachusetts Avenue, under the watchful eye of a temporary IMPD surveillance camera, then head south to New York, turning north near another IMPD camera. The parade comes to an end on Michigan Avenue. This parade is one of the largest held in Indianapolis every year. Shelly Snider says there is a climate fear this year that originates in the statehouse.
“There is absolutely a climate of fear. When you look at the number of bills that came down from the statehouse this year it was triple the amount of LGBTQ+ bills that came out. The hate is real. It is all across the country, and people feel more empowered to be anti-LGBTQ+ because of instances like that,” said Snider
The relationship with IMPD and Indy Pride has had it’s ups and downs over the years. Police have been asked to not wear their uniforms in the parade. We are told that cops in the parade will have special t-shirts.
Three years ago, Indy Pride asked IMPD to not provide any security beyond traffic control. This was a show of support for the Black Lives Matter movement after I-Team 8’s Richard Essex’ viral video of two women being arrested for curfew violations during the riots of 2020. Snider says the relationship with police has improved since 2020
“We know it is a delicate balance, and we also know that we can’t even have our festival or parade without police presence because of city ordinances,” said Snider
For those attending the festival at Military Park, you can expect triple the number of security. Only clear bags that are see through will be allowed inside.
“We are putting up some mesh on the fence so that people driving down West Street can’t see what is happening inside and try to harass our attendees,” said Snider