Minneapolis police asked to limit presence at pride parade

Marsha Scott
June 26, 2017

On Tuesday, Pride organizers said police officers were not welcome due to the hard feelings surrounding the death of Philando Castile, and the outcome of the subsequent trial.

The protest also happened just days after the Minnesota police officer who was charged with manslaughter for shooting a black man multiple times during a traffic stop previous year was found not guilty by a jury.

The decision has upset Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau, who is lesbian, sent an open letter objecting to the decision.

"It's time to be lifting each other up, not excluding one another".

"I look forward to seeing everybody out at the parade on Sunday and I want to wish everybody a happy Pride", she said while standing in front of a rainbow flag with a large Minneapolis police badge on it.

After meeting with Harteau and other leaders, Pride Fest executive director Dot Belstler on Friday apologized to law enforcement and invited police to participate in the parade. "Our intent is and was to respect the pain that the people of color and transgender communities have experienced as of late, but our original approach fell short of our mission".

The controversial decision was taken by the organisers of the Twin Cities Pride Parade at the last minute, ahead of the parade which takes place on Sunday in Minneapolis.

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Community members had been organizing a resistance to the planned police presence in the parade similar to an action in Washington, DC, earlier this month. "There will just be one lone unmarked police auto starting off the parade and there will limited police participation in the parade itself".

"Police officers are more than just officers, they are human beings with families who are also part of this community".

"For an organization that prides itself on being accepting and inclusive, the hypocrisy amazes me", he said.

Organizers in Portland, Ore., are asking officers to consider not wearing their uniforms because some "don't feel comfortable attending alongside police in uniform", according to the Oregonian.

Amy Brockman, Twin Cities Pride external relations manager, said they appreciate all LGTBQ officers. "Make Pride Revolutionary Again!" stalled the proceedings in the wake of ex-Officer Jeronimo Yanez skirting a manslaughter charge earlier this month, the Star-Tribune reported. Over a megaphone, they gave a list of demands to Pride organizers, which included the "total elimination" of police at all future Pride events.

"I just think anytime we can have a conversation and understand opposing views, we find out we have a lot more in common than we do different", Harteau said.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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