Unsurprisingly, one of the police officers involved in the Stonewall raid 40 years ago thinks that their actions were right. Surprisingly, he seemed surprised that anyone would think they were homophobic:
When pressed about the motivation for the raid, Pine, speaking by telephone, said, "I don't think not liking gay people had anything to do with it." Instead, the former member of NYPD's vice and gambling unit listed complaints from the community about the Stonewall Inn that included Mafia connections, dirty drink glasses, and the violation of contemporary dress codes. (Earlier, panelist Garvin mentioned the preponderance of "flame queens" at the establishment.)
While Pine acknowledged that the Stonewall Inn in the West Village was known as a "gay headquarters," he sounded genuinely confused when asked whether any antigay bias existed among police officers on the streets at the time.
"I'm sorry, I didn't get that," said Pine. Audience members, who were present in the studio for the live broadcast, chuckled.
Finally, host Lehrer asked Pine directly, "Do you think that the police were on the side of right?"
"Yes, of course," Pine answered. "When we took the action that we took that night, we were on the side of right. We never would have done something without supervision from the federal authorities and the state authorities. They were involved with this just as well as we were."
Well, the question wasn't whether state and federal authorities were involved, it's whether their decisions were homophobic and wrong. You'd think 40 years would give the guy some perspective, but voilà.