Stonewall Anniversary Unites Police, Patrons

Rare Reunion Features Memories, Pizza and a Screenplay

Listen: From 1994: 25th Anniversary Coverage

Listen: David Sedaris Marks the 25th Anniversary with Reflections on Gay Life

Arturo's Restaurant hosts retired police officers Frank Toscano (left), Frank Belloti and Rich

Arturo's Restaurant hosts reunion of retired police officers Frank Toscano (left), Frank Belloti and Richie Carletti. Margot Adler, NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Margot Adler, NPR
Frank Toscano's play being read at a Manhattan playhouse.

Frank Toscano's play being read at a Manhattan playhouse. Margot Adler, NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Margot Adler, NPR
Frank Toscano with Williamson Henderson, president of the Stonewall Veterans Association

Frank Toscano with Williamson Henderson, president of the STONEWALL Veterans Association. Margot Adler, NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Margot Adler, NPR

One night 35 years ago, the Stonewall Inn — a mafia-run gay bar in Greenwich Village — was the scene for protests against police harassment. The events of that night, and the days of demonstrations that followed, became a catalyst for the gay rights movement.

Decades later, those who were there remember the night's dramatic events well — both the Stonewall veterans of those first gay rights protests as well as the police officers called to the scene.

But until now, the story of Stonewall has never been told from the point of view of the street cops. Now those men have held a reunion, and retired officer Frank Toscano has also written a screenplay about that night.

NPR's Margot Adler attended the meeting to speak with Toscano, his former colleagues and their new friends.

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