Pride reverses decision, invites police to parade

Twin Cities Pride officials reverse course, invite police to march in parade

MINNEAPOLIS - Days after announcing they'd be limiting police presence at this year's Pride Parade, due to the emotions swirling from the acquittal of Officer Jeronimo Yanez, officials announced Friday they will allow police after all. 

In a statement on its website, Pride organizers say, "We would like to apologize to the law enforcement community for neglecting to communicate and consider input for other possible alternatives prior to releasing the details of this decision."

The decision to limit police was met with backlash after some community members called the move hypocritical, when the basis of Pride is to promote inclusiveness. Others, including Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau, called the decision "hurtful."

RELATED: Read Chief Harteau's letter to pride officials

The full statement from Pride was posted to its Facebook page

It reads:

Earlier this week Twin Cities Pride made a decision to forego uniformed, off-duty police officers from participating in the beginning of the Twin Cities Pride Parade. We would like to apologize to the law enforcement community for neglecting to communicate and consider input for other possible alternatives prior to releasing the details of this decision.

Following its release, we received input from impacted parties and through this input we recognize this decision has made members of the law enforcement community feel excluded, which is contrary to our mission to foster inclusion. 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.

As of yesterday afternoon, we productively met with representatives of these parties, including Chief Harteau of the Minneapolis Police Department and Roxanne Anderson, Executive Director of The Minnesota Transgender Health Coalition, in an effort to create a cohesive, unifying alternative which is inclusive of each perspective on this issue.

One unmarked police car will clear the way as originally stated, and we would like to invite members of the law enforcement community to participate in the parade by holding the Unity flag or marching alongside any other flag they feel comfortable with.

To our transgender and people of color communities, we will continue to respect your pain and angst by bridging the divide and continuing conversations on both sides of this issue to ensure we consider alternatives that make each group feel comfortable and safe.

Twin Cities Pride will also continue to keep communication channels open with all community members to ensure our events and activities that provide a place to foster inclusion, educate and create awareness of issues, and to celebrate our achievements.

Chief Harteau posted a video on the Minneapolis Police Department's Facebook page, in response, thanking Pride organizers for what she called a "thoughtful" discussion.

She added that she's excited to see everyone out at the Pride parade this weekend. 

On Tuesday, officials posted a message to its followers, trying to clarify their intent, citing a respect for the "pain the community is feeling."

They say they will still work to make sure all feel comfortable, by continuing the discussion. 

To our transgender and people of color communities, we will continue to respect your pain and angst by bridging the divide and continuing conversations on both sides of this issue to ensure we consider alternatives that make each group feel comfortable and safe.

© 2017 KARE-TV


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