After originally calling for a smaller law enforcement presence at this year’s Twin Cities (TC) Pride parade, Pride officials recanted on their previous statement and have now invited the law enforcement community to again march alongside their LGBTQ+ counterparts.
The announcement came via the Twin Cities Pride Facebook page. The post apologized to the law enforcement community and explained that excluding members of the community “…is contrary to our mission to foster inclusion.”
The following is the full text of the Facebook post:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MINNEAPOLIS (June 23, 2017) – 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 the Rainbow, Bisexual, or Transgender flags.
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.
Dot Belstler, Executive Director and
Twin Cities Pride Board of Directors
This response came after a Facebook post by Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Hareau sent an open letter to TC Pride. Below is the letter that was posted on Hareau’s Facebook page.
After TC Pride reversed their decision the Minneapolis Police Department released this video of Harteu
The full text is below:
“I want to recognize and acknowledge everyone’s viewpoints. I also want to thank Pride for their decision after a very thoughtful conversation yesterday. I look forward to future discussions, I look forward to seeing everybody out at the parade on Sunday, and I want to wish everybody a happy Pride!”
Both the Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC) and the Minneapolis Fire Department (MFD) Local 82 had planned on boycotting part or all of the Pride parade in order to show solidarity with law enforcement.
A HCMC spokesperson implied via email that nothing has changed regarding whether or not an HCMC ambulance will participate in the parade but that it might change because participation is voluntary.
Mark Lakosky, President of MFD Local 82, said
My members said ‘go ahead and let’s get back in there.’ Their thought was pretty much that it’s still about the community and not a couple of organizers that made a bad decision. It’s corrected and you know, let’s be bigger than the whole thing and move on.”