Chief of Police says TPS regrets the 1981 bathhouse raids in statement to gay community
Courtney Greenberg, CTV Toronto
Published Wednesday, June 22, 2016 5:35AM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, June 22, 2016 7:55PM EDT
Police chief Mark Saunders said the Toronto Police Service "expressed its regrets" for the targeted bathhouse raids against the city's gay community more than 30 years ago at police headquarters late Wednesday afternoon.
Police officers barged in on four Toronto bathhouses on Feb. 19, 1981 and rounded up the people inside. Nearly 300 people were arrested and charged.
Toronto resident Tony Fay said he was affected by the raids and the apology offered him closure. He said the apology also showed the importance of that particular moment in Toronto’s history and how police have changed their opinions of the gay community.
Fay said it’s been a “long time coming.” He said the effects of the arrest lingered for years.
He said in the raids, police “did everything they could to intimidate us. It was not a good scene.”
Now, he said, the apology proved “what we were doing was not wrong.”
Saunders' apology comes during Toronto's Pride Month.