The LGBT-supportive New York police officer Michael Hance has died of brain cancer, aged only 44. He found public love 2 years ago after being filmed dancing with a reveller at the city’s Pride parade. In the clip, the officer – assigned to protect the parade – is approached by Pride marcher Aaron Santis as Michael Jackson’s ‘Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough’ plays. The officer then begins to twerk and grind on Santis, to applause from the crowd.
Hence served with the NYPD for 17 years, and was part of the emergency response after 9/11.
He was diagnosed with brain cancer in November after collapsing outside his home – but it quickly spread to his lungs, liver and chest. He was straight and the father of two girls aged 10 and 12.
Brian Downey, the president of the NYPD’s Gay Officers Action League, paid tribute to the cop. He told the New York Daily News: “I was as impressed as I was happy… he isn’t a member of GOAL or the LGBT community, but we were elated to see that video. It represented the true spirit of the police family. That’s what 99.5% of cops are like.” Paige Ponzeka, who recorded the video, added: “It was really special. Aaron had danced in front of a lot of cops, but they were not as responsive. Then we saw this officer get into it. He understood what the parade was about — about having fun and being yourself. The best part [was] that he was straight and was still having fun at the parade. That was a great message to send. A lot of cops have a tough-guy vibe, but he had the vibe that you can have fun and there was nothing wrong with that.”