Thursday, 19 July, 2018

Anti-police protesters disrupt Twin Cities Pride Parade

30 Hayden St. Unit 204 30 Hayden St. Unit 204
Sandy Vega | 26 June, 2017, 03:15

There will be "limited police participation in the parade itself", Twin Cities Pride said in a statement.

Parade organizers on Friday invited police to participate in the annual parade after initially asking police to minimize their participation due to tensions over a jury's recent acquittal of a Minnesota officer who fatally shot Castile during a traffic stop past year.

The organizers said they're required to have a police auto lead the parade to make sure the route is clear, so this year it will be a lone unmarked squad vehicle and there will be limited police participation in the parade itself.

The parade, which typically draws about 350,000 people, was led in previous years by several marked squad cars with lights and sirens, as well as uniformed officers marching toward the front.

"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 that march must hold the Unity flag, or be next to the rainbow, bisexual, or transgender flags.

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.

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Hearteau said she plans to attend with her family.

"Understanding the magnitude of recent events, I truly wanted to reflect on your decision". The openly gay police chief said the decision was divisive and hurtful to LGBT officers, which the organizers acknowledged.

In her letter, Harteau says she struggles to see "how this decision helps our community heal".

"Police are supposed to be like a source of safety, especially with all the stuff going on, with like all the hate against the LGBTQ community, so having them here is like kind of safety, but with what's been going on, you don't know anymore. you want them for safety, but you don't trust them". Pride organizers felt they had a duty to honor that solidarity.

In a statement Friday, the executive director of Twin Cities Pride said: "We recognize this decision has made members of the law enforcement community feel excluded, which is contrary to our mission to foster inclusion". "Seeing those uniforms brings angst and tension and the feeling of unrest".

The protestors stood at the start of the parade route holding signs and banners reading "Justice for Philando Castile" and "No KKKops at Pride!"

Pride parade organizers in Minnesota have apologized for asking local law enforcement officers to limit their participation in a parade scheduled for Sunday.

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