A pride event celebrating gay police officers at NYPD headquarters was overshadowed on Tuesday night amid the continued fallout of Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell’s sudden resignation—and the mayor’s abrupt cancellation of his scheduled appearance at the event.
The Gay Officers Action League (GOAL) held a special pride celebration inside One Police Plaza on June 13 in which LGBTQIA+ members of the department were honored for their contributions to the badge. However, the ceremony was marred by reports of strained relations between the departing top cop, who was in attendance, and Mayor Eric Adams.
Although the mayor was scheduled to attend the event—even after Sewell had already announced her plans to leave the force—Hizzoner was a no-show, crossing-off his planned appearance 25 minutes prior to his expected arrival.
While no official reason for the cancellation was given, the mayor’s press secretary Fabien Levy told amNewYork Metro that “We make adjustments to the mayor’s schedule regularly.”
The sudden schedule change came as reports indicated that the mayor and police commissioner had not been seeing eye-to-eye regarding her role, with some sources saying that Adams had been restricting her ability to make free, unrestrained choices. Still, the event appeared to continue as planned with several speeches and musical performances.
First Deputy Commissioner Edward Caban, who spoke about the NYPD’s checkered history with the gay community, was gifted with an ally award for his support of LGBTQIA+ individuals in uniform.
“We know our history, have learned from it and will never repeat it. I think we can all agree the NYPD has come a long way since Stonewall 1969,” Caban said. “I’ve always been by your side, and I stand with you tonight. I support all you do. The devotion to a movement that now faces unprecedented resistance is truly inspiring.”
While the mayor did not attend, the police commissioner met with several attendees, taking photographs with the officers. Sewell, whose last day is expected to be June 30, did not have a public speaking role at the event.