Before anyone attacks me I have the utmost respect for the thankless task the NYPD perform at all major manhattan parades especially the gay pride march. That said they need to fix a mistakes and the way their officers reply to public when mistakes are pointed out.
Yesterday like every other gay pride for the last 15 years, Ella has had to work the pride fair on the stall of what ever magazine or company she was working for at that time. It has been metrosource magazine for the last decade.
The hardest part of the day is always getting from greenwhich ave and jane st, upto union square to come home.
It wasn’t until I became a wheelchair user that I realized how poorly the NYPD set up the metal crowd control barriers and organize for the public to cross the parade route at major intersections.
For example, yesterday ella and I got to 5th ave and 11th st to try and cross the parade route, the police said no we couldn’t cross we had to go to 14th st so we rolled difficultly through the crowd, and on more than one occasion I was accosted by street gangs not there for gay pride but for the mischief they could cause with so many gay people and a wheelchair was just their cherry on top. Despite police being less than 10 feet away and the attack getting loud no help came but I digress.
We finally made 14th st and fifth ave and rolled down to the wheelchair access ramp only to find it blocked by a lightweight police steel crowd barrier, and was screamed at by a cop to shut the f##K up and roll back half a block and go onto the dangerous traffic of fourteenth st.
From there we were forced to roll in the traffic lane back to fifth and across the intersection and then up another half block in the traffic lane then mount the curb. The problem was this where I was screamed at had a legal safe ramp, where I was forced to dismount the curb had a 12 drop into a 6 inch pothole, and I rocked up onto one wheel almost tumbling out of my chair. When we finally reached the remount spot on the otherside of the fifth ave intersection, there were three cops reading texts and there I sat with a 12inch-18inch high steel wrapped curb and no way of getting up and again there reply was to either ignore completely or scream at me again ?
I was forced to cross 4 lanes of busy and I mean disgustingly dangerous busy lanes of traffic, dodging buses, New York cabs and just idiots with cars to cross to the otherside because there was only one place to get back on the sidewalk.
Now all it would have taken for this to be avoided was a cop lifting a very light aluminium rail for two minutes each side of the side walk and myself and at least six other disabled people would have been safe.
A woman behind me had CP and used elbow crutches, and she had to drag her feet all the way while being jostled by public and also screamed at by police.
EPIC FAILURE NYPD
Yes the crowds are huge, and Yes you have to control the masses but not at the danger to life and safety of the dis and other wise abled.
Next year get it right NYPD we want to be safe and enjoy ourselves too!