toronto Bathhouse Raids

Toronto police to finally apologize for bathhouse raids

Maybe it's thanks to Pride season, or maybe it's the fact that this year marks 35 years since the Toronto Bathhouse Raids took place.

Whatever the case, on June 22 police Chief Mark Saunders will formally apologize for the raids and the behaviour of Toronto police officers during the despicable events of 1981.

It was February 5th, 1981 when hundreds of police officers stormed four gay bathhouses armed with crowbars and sledgehammers, dragged men outside in their towels, arrested them and threw them into trucks to be held in custody, effectively publicly outing them and treating them like dirt.

According to a story in the Toronto Star, Saunders will also apologize for the 2000 Pussy Palace raids where six male officers invaded a one-off Club Toronto event.

Working with the community to make sure he gets this right, the police chief took aid from Rev. Brent Hawkes when composing the apology. Hawkes was a key player in the protests that erupted in Toronto after the initial raids.

Saunders will make the announcement at the annual Pride reception at police headquarters, and will also be marching in this year's Pride Parade on Sunday, July 3.

Image from the Pride Toronto Facebook page.


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