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Stonewall Anniversary Unites Police, Patrons

Arturo's Restaurant hosts reunion of retired police officers Frank Toscano (left), Frank Belloti and Richie Carletti.
Margot Adler, NPR /
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Arturo's Restaurant hosts reunion of retired police officers Frank Toscano (left), Frank Belloti and Richie Carletti.
Frank Toscano's play being read at a Manhattan playhouse.
Margot Adler, NPR /
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Frank Toscano's play being read at a Manhattan playhouse.
Frank Toscano with Williamson Henderson, president of the STONEWALL Veterans Association.
Margot Adler, NPR /
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Frank Toscano with Williamson Henderson, president of the STONEWALL Veterans Association.

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.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Margot Adler died on July 28, 2014 at her home in New York City. She was 68 and had been battling cancer. Listen to NPR Correspondent David Folkenflik's retrospective on her life and career