A veterans’ group is threatening to sue New York City if officials refuse to allow an annual Memorial Day parade to take place.
The United Staten Island Veterans’ Organization said it was denied a permit for the Memorial Day parade, which has been running in the city for more than 100 years.
The USIVO, an association of 16 local veterans’ groups, has been the parade’s sponsor for decades.
The group said they applied for a permit on Feb. 27 to allow 1,000 participants to “march down Forest Avenue from Hart Boulevard to Greenleaf Avenue,” but the New York Police Department denied their request.
The veterans called the NYPD’s decision a “slap in the face” given how lenient city officials were with large Black Lives Matter protests this past year.
Mayor Bill de Blasio was even spotted marching in a BLM protest that did not practice social distancing:
VIDEO: #NewYork Mayor Bill de Blasio and civil rights activist Al Sharpton participate in the painting of “Black Lives Matter” in large yellow letters on the street outside #TrumpTower pic.twitter.com/dGsMB5rFJL
— AFP News Agency (@AFP) July 9, 2020
This was one of several large-scale events the city allowed to take place during the coronavirus pandemic, the USIVO pointed out.
Other events included a black transgender lives rally in Brooklyn, and a Cannabis Parade that featured several high-ranking government officials, including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and state Attorney General Letitia James.
WATCH: Footage shows a speaker addressing the massive crowd at a rally for black transgender lives in Brooklyn, New York, on Sunday. pic.twitter.com/qcWePRoV0R
— CBS News (@CBSNews) June 15, 2020
It’s the Cannabis Parade and Rally in New York City.
This year, we finally and equitably legalized marijuana in New York.
And I won’t stop working to end the federal prohibition on marijuana and undo the harms of the War on Drugs. pic.twitter.com/ladWs58tY7
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) May 1, 2021
Because of this blatant double standard, the USIVO said it will sue the city over its decision to prohibit veterans from participating in the Memorial Day parade.
“Under the equal protection clause, it’s unconstitutional for the city to pick and choose between groups like this,” attorney Brendan Lantry, who is representing the veterans’ group, said in a statement. “There’s a clear double standard going on here.”