Friday, 22 February, 2019

Minneapolis police asked to limit presence at pride parade

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau waves to spectators at the annual Pride Parade in Toronto on Sunday Minneapolis police asked to limit presence at pride parade
Melinda Barton | 26 June, 2017, 00:38

Hawley said he was hurt by the decision earlier this week to keep law enforcement from participating in Sunday's parade following the acquittal of former St. Anthony Police officer Jeronimo Yanez. Minneapolis's first openly gay police chief, Janeé Harteau, wrote about how she was "saddened to be shut out", while several other gay officers spoke of how the decision was exclusionary, "hateful and hurtful". They will hold the unity flag or march alongside the rainbow, bisexual or transgender flags, Belstler said, according to the Tribune.

"We recognize this decision has made members of the law enforcement community feel excluded, which is contrary to our mission to foster inclusion", Pride executive director Dot Belstler said in a statement. "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".

Police are not happy with being asked not to walk in the Twin Cities Pride parade, Minnesota, US.

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".

A spokeswoman for Twin Cities Pride said the group is preparing a response later Thursday. "There will just be one lone unmarked police vehicle starting off the parade and there will limited police participation in the parade itself".

Attending it for more than two decades, she said she's seeing more acceptance each and every year.

Minneapolis police won't say how many officers have signed on to work festivities over pride weekend but those who have volunteered to work Pride will be in uniform.

"The point of this parade is to be very accepting and inclusive", Otto said.

Even before the Castile verdict was announced, Pride organizers had already discussed plans to scale-back the police presence this year compared to the year before.

Castile's death stirred controversy after his girlfriend live streamed the immediate aftermath of the shooting on Facebook, starting the live stream seconds after Castile was shot by the officer. 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 also want to thank Pride for the decision after a very thoughtful conversation yesterday.