This past Labor Day, three white men in blackface reenacted the brutal murder of a Texas Black man. In a parody of the killing on a float called Black to the Future, a police officer jumped out of the pick-up truck and hung from the tailgate. Byrd was decapitated and his body was dragged from the back of a pick-up truck by three white men with ties to a white supremacist organization. The parade was held in Broad Channel, a white working class community in Queens, New York.
New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and the Police Commissioner Howard Safir said any city employees that participated should be fired. Three municipal employees who have been identified, a police officer and two firefighters, have been suspended without pay. The police officer, Joseph Lecurto will face a police department hearing on October 5th. He has also filed a federal lawsuit charging his first amendment rights were violated, that he was off duty and he has a right to express himself as a private citizen.
- Norman Seigel, Executive Director of the New York Civil Liberties Union.
- Ron Hampton, Executive Director of the National Black Police Association