MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Latest on organizers of Twin Cities Pride Parade asking police to minimize their participation because of tensions over the police shooting of Philando Castile (all times local):
Organizers of this weekend’s gay pride parade in Minneapolis say they are talking with police and other affected groups about their request to not have uniformed officers at the event.
Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau, who is a lesbian, criticized Twin Cities Pride for not consulting her before going public with its request for the police department to minimize its presence at Sunday’s parade. They cited tensions over last week’s acquittal of a suburban Minneapolis officer in the fatal shooting of black driver Philando Castile during a traffic stop last summer.
Twin Cities Pride said Thursday that its staff and board members are talking to parties affected by the group’s decision and that its goal is “to create a cohesive, unifying solution that is inclusive of each perspective on this topic.”
Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau says she is “beyond disappointed” that she was not consulted before organizers of the Twin Cities Pride Parade asked police to minimize their participation in Sunday’s event.
Harteau sent a letter Thursday to Twin Cities Pride executive director Dot Belstler, calling the decision “divisive” and saying it “really hurt so many in our community,” including LGBT officers and their families.
Parade organizers cited tensions over last week’s acquittal of an officer in the fatal shooting of black driver Philando Castile during a traffic stop.
In her letter, Harteau says she struggles to see “how this decision helps our community heal.” Harteau, who is the first openly gay police chief in Minneapolis, points out that she was the parade’s grand marshal three years ago.
A spokeswoman for Twin Cities Pride said the group is preparing a response later Thursday.
Organizers of the Twin Cities Pride Parade have asked police to minimize their participation in Sunday’s event in downtown Minneapolis, citing tensions over the police shooting of Philando Castile.
They say they’re trying to respect the pain many are feeling following last week’s acquittal of the officer who killed the black motorist during a traffic stop.
The statement says they’re required to have a police car lead the parade to make sure the route is clear, so it will be a lone unmarked squad and there will be limited police participation in the parade itself.
The parade, which draws about 350,000 people, has started in previous years with several marked squad cars and police officers.
Lt. Bob Kroll, president of the Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis, calls the decision disturbing.