Police refused to protect drag show from threats then high-fived Proud Boys who showed up to protest

https://www.lgbtqnation.com/2022/12/police-refused-protect-drag-show-threats-high-fived-proud-boys-showed-protest/

When the police break the law, is there really any law?   These drag queen story hours are legal and safe, parents bring their kids because they want them to hear the stories read by the drag queens.   Yet the police stand by and let them be shut down by thugs threatening violence.  What next, will the police stand by while these thugs shut down Muslim worship services?  How about Jewish Bar Mitzvahs or Jewish schools?  At what point does enforcing white Christian views on the population become too much?   Hugs

 
Right-wing protestors show up to protest a canceled Drag Queen Story Hour
Right-wing protestors show up to protest a canceled Drag Queen Story HourPhoto: Screenshot

The Columbus, Ohio police chief defended an officer seen high-fiving a member of the violent white supremacist group Proud Boys during a protest of a drag show. The show was canceled over security concerns after organizers alleged local police refused to provide security for the event.

While the event was canceled, over 50 right-wing protesters dressed head to toe in combat gear and carrying massive weapons showed up, making the neighborhood look like a warzone.

After video of the cop getting chummy with a white supremacist surfaced on social media, Chief of Police Elaine Bryant told reporters that the whole thing was simply a misunderstanding.

“A video has been shown online that shows one of our dialogue team member high-fiving a member of the Proud Boys,” she said in a statement. “We understand how this looks and how this could make community members feel. However, this was not done to show solidarity, but an attempt to defuse a tense situation.”

She went on to brag that there were no arrests, violence, or use of force at the protest. Of course, since the event was canceled due to the threats of violence, it’s not surprising that there wasn’t violence. And with police officers high-fiving members of the paramilitary group, the lack of arrests or use of force isn’t exactly shocking. Many Proud Boys members are either former or current law enforcement officers.

The “Holi-Drag Storytime” event was supposed to take place this past weekend at the K-5 Red Oak Community School within the First Unitarian Church of Columbus, NBC News reported.

Speaking through tears on an empty stage amongst holiday decorations, including a rainbow Christmas tree, the school manager, Cheryl Ryan explained how the decision not to host the story hour came about.

“I’m here on this empty stage because in the end there was a disagreement about how this community should be best protected. There is a long documented history of law enforcement doing harm to the LGBTQ community among others that continues to this day… As even a cursory Google search will illustrate, it is no secret that extreme right-wing groups including the Proud Boys enjoy a cozy relationship with law enforcement.”

“When the Proud Boys stated they would show up to intimidate and harass and bully our attendees and organizers, we had to make a decision about how we were going to keep everyone safe.”

She said after a week of communication with the police department, she was told they could hire a special duty officer “who may or may not show up because they’re understaffed.”

Ryan said that police had assured journalists they were monitoring the situation, but in reality,  “The police had offered nothing and were not in touch with us.”

“Yet I received hundreds of emails, calls, and messages from folks in the community asking, ‘How can I help? What can I do? I’m ready to show up.’”

“I never heard this message from the city’s leadership and those whose job it is to protect us.”

“It turns out our biggest problem wasn’t the Proud Boys after all. I implore this community’s leaders to consider how this could have gone differently,” Ryan said.

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