D.C. Cops Participate in Gay Pride Parade, Raise Serious Questions About Taxpayer Funding

Tyler McNally | June 16, 2015
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In a video obtained by MRCTV, Washington D.C., Metro Police officers are seen actively participating in the Capital Pride Parade, the annual gay pride parade.

Officers can be seen on foot, in patrol cars adorned with gay pride flags, and on segways waving the rainbow flag as the patrol car siren goes off in celebration.

There are usually police seen at these type of events to keep the peace, but it is not known what role these officers were taking during the parade.

It is not known if the officers walking and riding in the parade were on-duty or off.

According to Capital Pride's website, it does not seem that D.C. Metro Police were not sponsors of the event in any fashion. Keeping the peace is one thing, but active participation is another.

The Hatch Act of 1939 states that federal employees, including employees of the government of Washington D.C., are not allowed to participate in political campaigns in certain capacities.

The Hatch Act states:

  1. At all times, members shall not:

    • Engage in political activity while wearing an official uniform;

    • Engage in political activity while using any government vehicle;  

It is not known if officers can use publicly funded vehicles like a patrol car and a segway while participating in a parade such as the Capital Pride Parade.

The actions of the police officers may end up being on the taxpayer's dime.

The D.C. Metro Police Department has not responded to questions at the time of publishing.

 

UPDATE (June 18, 8:30): The D.C. Metro Police Department answered questions regarding the police officers activities.

Gwendolyn Crump, director of communications, said:

"The MPD members who participated were on duty. MPD deploys officers using motorcycles, segways, police mountain bikes, cars, and trucks.  Depending on a members’ assignment, they may use one of these modes of transportation, to include while in a parade." 

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