NSW Premier Chris Minns’ defends police march at Mardi Gras after Sydney couple’s alleged murder

NSW Premier Chris Minns has defended the presence of police marching in the upcoming Mardi Gras parade despite pushback over the alleged murder of a Sydney couple by a serving police officer.

Police allege Jesse Baird and Luke Davies were murdered by NSW Police officer Beau Lamarre-Condon at their Paddington home after investigators located a projectile linked to a service firearm.

The couple’s death sparked outrage among the state’s LGBTQ+ community, with some calling for NSW Police to pull out of the annual gay and lesbian pride march in Darlinghurst this week.

Speaking to 2GB’s Ben Fordham on Monday, Mr Minns said officers should be able to participate in the march and dismissed suggestions organisers could pull the their invitation to police.

“I have to say, I think police should march,” Mr Minns said.

“It should be really acknowledged that there’s a lot of gay and lesbian members of the NSW police force.

“Traditionally, they are the group that have fought for the right to march and that has been seen in recent years as a real effort to bring the community together.”

Mr Minns said police officers investigating the alleged killing “shouldn’t be held responsible for … the allegations are very serious”, and that many officers had faced discrimination in their line of work.

“A lot of serving police officers who identify as gay have suffered a lot of discrimination but stuck within policing as a profession,” he said.

“They marched in the Mardi Gras as a demonstration of the fact that they’re police officers, and that’s their sexuality.

“Yanking their invitation I think would be a regressive step and probably not indicative of the fact that they’ve gone through a lot to be a police officer.”

Sydney MP Alex Greenwich, who identifies as being a member of the LGBTQ+ community, backed the presence of police in the march but said the alleged killings highlighted “safety concerns”.

“Well, we have two issues here … We have the police response to the special commission of Inquiry into LGBTQ Hate Crimes, which the Police Commissioner apologised for yesterday,” he told Nine.

“We also have this tragic incident of a police officer allegedly murdering two beautiful, innocent, young men. These are separate issues, but they do go to the safety concerns among the LGBTQ community.

“Me, personally, I want the police to stand with us every day of the year, and that includes at Mardi Gras … So, I want to see the police march with us at Mardi Gras. I want to see them stand with us every day of the year.”

For her part, Ms Webb also backed the presence of police in the march. She told 2GB’s Ben Fordham it would be a “set back as a community” if the invitation to police was withdrawn by organisers.

“We are talking about the alleged actions of one person and it would be awful for the officers that are looking forward to participating in Mardi Gras on Saturday if that was to be the case,” she said.

“I certainly hope that NSW Police will be able to march. We’ve been marching now for 20 years and our participation is part of our restoration with the community and I think it’s very important.”

Police allege the couple were killed by Mr Lamarre-Condon, a celebrity blogger turned police officer, inside Mr Baird’s Paddington home sometime between 12am and 5:30am on Monday.

Mr Lamarre-Condon has since been charged with two counts of murder and fronted Waverly Local Court last week were he was formally refused bail. He will reappear before the court on April 23.

Read related topics:Sydney

Leave a Comment