MINNEAPOLIS — On the eve of Twin Cities Pride weekend, event organizers have issued a statement calling on the City of Minneapolis to change the requirements around policing at large events.
In a statement about inclusion, the Twin Cities Pride Board of Directors said Friday it wants the city to suspend requirements that make event planners and organizers contract with off-duty Minneapolis police officers for security.
"While safety at Pride events has always been, and will continue to be, our top priority, we disagree that the MPD is the best entity to protect us," the statement says. "The values continually displayed by this department do not align with our own."
Organizers say they're relying on private security and crisis response teams to have fewer city police officers around pride weekend events.
Minneapolis police and city officials have not yet commented on Pride organizer's concerns.
Twin Cities Pride, which is a 501(c)3 nonprofit, also addressed some other concerns about inclusion they say have come up over the last few years, including the influence corporations have on pride weekend events.
"Currently we run all sponsors through the HRC screening and do general media checks, we also encourage all vendors and participants to make use of diversity and inclusion resources," their statement says.
Like most events in 2020, Twin Cities Pride was canceled last year because of the coronavirus pandemic. There's no parade along with this year's event in Loring Park, but the festival weekend will feature local BIPOC and LGBTQ+ vendors, food, a beer garden and performances. However, there will be no Saturday night concert or fireworks this year.