Twin Cities Pride Reverses Decision, Invites Police to Parade

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau waves to spectators at the annual Pride Parade in Toronto on Sunday

The decision was made to "respect the pain the community is feeling right now", after a jury acquitted the Minnesota police officer who shot and killed Philando Castile.

In this image made from July 6, 2016, video captured by a camera in the squad auto of St. Anthony Police officer Jeronimo Yanez, the Minnesota police officer is shown after shooting into the vehicle at Philando Castile during a traffic stop in Falcon Heights, Minn., as the 4-year-old daughter of Castile's girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, starts to get out of the auto and is grabbed by an officer.

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.

"It's time to be lifting each other up, not excluding one another". Over the megaphone, they said Twin Cities Pride has perpetuated white supremacy and urged parade-goers to join them in protest, although few did. They will hold the unity flag or march alongside the rainbow, bisexual or transgender flags, Belstler said, according to the Tribune. "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".




Twin Cities Pride Festival organizers announced this week there will be limited participation by law enforcement in this year's Ashely Rukes LGBT Pride Parade.

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 vehicle starting off the parade" as required by ordinance but otherwise "limited police participation in the parade itself".

Riley Jay Davis, of St. Paul, considered going to Pride after hearing that organizers had asked police to keep a low-profile, but said Friday he will definitely not be attending.

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". This lead to the pride organizors decision. Pride organizers felt they had a duty to honor that solidarity. 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. She posted a brief video Friday thanking the Pride committee for their decision "after a very thoughtful conversation".

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