Wednesday, 23 August, 2017

Minneapolis police asked to limit presence at pride parade

30 Hayden St. Unit 204 30 Hayden St. Unit 204
Lance Thomas | 26 June, 2017, 00:39

Earlier this week, Pride organizers made a decision that police officers would not have the big, visible presence at the start of the Pride parade in Minneapolis that they have in years past.

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

"I look forward to future discussions, I look forward to seeing everybody out at the parade on Sunday, and I want to wish everybody a happy Pride", she said in a brief video.

They added: "We hope this helps ease people's fears about police participation in the parade".

Twin Cities Pride executive director Dot Belstler wrote in a Facebook post that a lone police auto would be clearing the parade route prior to the parade as is required by Minneapolis statute.

FILE - In this March 30, 2016 file photo, Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau speaks at a news conference, in Minneapolis.

Amy Brockman, Twin Cities Pride external relations manager, said they appreciate all LGTBQ officers.

The event is usually opened by a large contingency of police cars in the role, but organisers say they will only permit a single unmarked auto this year due to the Castile case.

In a Facebook post, Twin Cities Pride Executive Director Dan Belstler and External Relations Manager Amy Brockman explained that there would be "one lone unmarked police auto starting off the parade" as required by ordinance but otherwise "limited police participation in the parade itself".

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

People were planning to protest the police involvement in the Sunday, June 25, parade. They claimed that the Pride event was perpetuating "white supremacy" and "ignoring the trauma" caused by the verdict earlier this month in the Castile case. Last week, outrage over the verdict in the Yanez trial led TC Pride organizers to uninvite uniformed police officers.

Chants of "No justice, no pride!" rang out at the Ashley Rukes GLBT Pride Parade in downtown Minneapolis, with one large banner blaring "Justice for Philando".

"I understand people are angry and we can respect their feelings, but the reality is at the end of the day if we can't work together it becomes more challenging to become better as a community and to become better as a police department", Nash said.

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

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