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Police kicked out of Mardi Gras following alleged double murder incident

This incident occurred following the arrest of a senior constable in the police force for the alleged murder of two gay men.

The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras board has decided to exclude New South Wales (NSW) Police from a major pride festival after a senior constable was accused of killing two men.

The accused, Senior Constable Beau Lamarre-Condon, 28, has been charged with the murders of Jesse Baird, a 26-year-old Ten television presenter, and Luke Davies, a 29-year-old flight attendant.

Recognizing the need for the community to mourn the loss of these two men, who would have participated in the parade, the Mardi Gras board took this step.

The Sydney Mardi Gras Parade, part of its annual LGBT pride festival, is expected to feature 12,000 marchers on 200 floats, with around 250,000 spectators lining Oxford Street.

In light of concerns from the community about feeling uncomfortable with the presence of police at the parade, the Mardi Gras board made the decision to disinvite the NSW Police from the event.

“Their concerns revolve around whether the event can still be a space for protest, celebration, advocacy for equality, and a place to honor and mourn those we have lost, given the participation of the NSW Police at this year’s event,” the board stated.

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“Our community needs space to grieve the loss of Jesse and Luke who, before this tragedy, would have been here celebrating with us at the Festival.

In light of this, the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Board feels that having the NSW Police march this year could add to the distress within our communities, already deeply affected by recent events. The Board has taken the decision to request that the Police do not march in the 2024 Parade.”

Senior Constable Charged With Murder

Mr. Lamarre-Condon was charged with two counts of murder after handing himself into a Sydney police station on Feb. 23.

Police found a bullet that matched Mr. Lamarre-Condon’s work pistol inside a Paddington home where Mr. Davies and Mr. Baird were residing on Feb. 19.

Mr. Lamarre-Condon had previously been involved in a friends-with-benefits type arrangement with Mr. Baird, a friend told Daily Mail Australia.
Police divers have been searching waterholes in regional NSW for the bodies of Mr. Baird and Mr. Davies the BBC reported, amid Mr. Lamarre-Condon remaining silent in the aftermath of the incident.

Police will allege in court Mr. Lamarre-Condon rented a white van and took the bodies to a rural property in Bungonia, southwest of Sydney.

NSW police deputy commissioner, David Hudson, told reporters “It’s our number one priority to try and locate Jesse and Luke to give the families some solace.”

Sydney Mardi Gras said they, along with the LGBT community were devastated.

They noted the NSW Police officer charged with his murder had taken part in the Mardi Gras Parade previously.

“NSW Police have been notified, and while disappointed, understand the board’s decision and the Board are meeting with the Police to discuss further,” they said.

“This decision was not made lightly, especially considering that many NSW Police members who participate in the Parade are also members of the LGBTQIA+ community and are navigating the impact of this tragedy alongside us. However, we believe that their participation at this year’s event could intensify the current feelings of sorrow and distress.

In response, a NSW Police spokesperson said they were disappointed with the decision but would continue to work with organisers.

“The NSW Police Force has been advised that the Board of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras has decided to withdraw the invitation to NSW Police to participate in this year’s event,” the police said.

Police Commissioner Extends Support To Families

NSW Wales Police Commissioner Karen Webb has spoken to the families of Mr. Davies and Mr. Baird and expressed her condolences on Feb. 25.

“I would like to extend my heartfelt condolences to the families and friends of Luke Davies and Jesse Baird. It is difficult to comprehend the grief and pain of their loss,” Ms. Webb said.

I acknowledge this week’s events are distressing for many and I share the sadness and shock about the alleged nature of Luke and Jesse’s deaths.

The commissioner asked the community to have patience as police continued to investigate what happened.

“I understand there are many unanswered questions and while I cannot comment on the matter before the courts, I can reassure Luke and Jesse’s loved ones, and the people of NSW, that we are working around the clock to find those answers,” Ms. Webb said.

“As our investigation continues, I would ask anyone who has information that could assist, to please come forward and contact us.”

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