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A rainbow flag waves in the wind at the Stonewall National Monument outside the Stonewall Inn, site of the 1969 Stonewall uprising, considered the birth of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) movement in Greenwich Village in New York City. Photo by Mike Segar/Reuters

NYPD apologizes for 1969 raid at Stonewall Inn gay bar

NEW YORK — New York City’s police commissioner has apologized for the 1969 police raid at the Stonewall Inn that catalyzed the modern LGBT rights movement.

Commissioner James O’Neill said Thursday that “the actions taken by the NYPD were wrong” at the gay bar in New York City’s Greenwich Village.

He called the actions and laws of the time discriminatory and said, “For that, I apologize.”

The apology comes just weeks ahead of the 50th anniversary of the raid and the rebellion it sparked on June 28, 1969, as patrons and others fought back against officers and against a social order that kept gay life in the shadows.

It wasn’t the first time that gay people had demonstrated or clashed with police, but it proved a turning point that spurred a wave of activism.

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