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 were also opposed to the decision to extend an invitation last-minute for police officers to take part in the parade.
Attending it for more than two decades, she said she's seeing more acceptance each and every year. Over a megaphone, they gave a list of demands to Pride organizers, which included the "total elimination" of police at all future Pride events.
"I am beyond disappointed that you didn't feel you could talk with me before making such a divisive decision that has really hurt so many in our community including the LGBT members of this Department, and those who serve and protect throughout our state". Minneapolis's first openly gay police chief, Janeé Harteau, wrote about how she was "saddened to be shut out", while several other gay officers spoke of how the decision was exclusionary, "hateful and hurtful". I also want to thank Pride for the decision after a very thoughtful conversation yesterday.
Amy Brockman, a spokeswoman for Twin Cities Pride, said the group was preparing a response. "For an organization that prides itself on being accepting and inclusive, the hypocrisy amazes me".
"I understand that people are angry and we can respect their feelings, but ... if we can't work together, it gets more challenging to become better as a community, as a police department".
"I've been to some very small pride parades" Otto said.
'Unfortunately, we have hurt and offended the LGBTQ police officers, and that was not at all our intent, ' Baumann told the Star Tribune. "Seeing those uniforms brings angst and tension and the feeling of unrest".
The protesters who halted the parade shortly after it began were carrying signs with phrases including: "Black Lives Matter", "No KKKops at Pride!"
Chanting "no justice, no Pride", the protesters blocked the path of the parade, intersection by intersection.
In a Friday statement posted on Facebook, Pride Executive Director Dot Belstler and the board of directors apologized "to the law enforcement community for neglecting to communicate and consider input for other possible alternatives prior to releasing the details of this decision".