Police Asked to Stay Away From Twin Cities Pride Parade
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — 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.
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.