Mpls. chief says officers may not wear uniforms in Pride parade

Protests held up the annual Pride parade in downtown Minneapolis.
Protests held up the 2017 Pride parade in downtown Minneapolis.
Doualy Xaykaothao | MPR News 2017

Updated: May 23, 7:35 p.m. | Posted: May 22, 8:16 p.m.

Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo said Tuesday that he will not allow officers to wear their uniforms while marching in the Twin Cities Pride parade next month.

In a department-wide memo, Arradondo said his decision is based in part on "the adamant opposition" to law enforcement participation in the parade by some in the LGBT community.

Last year, Pride organizers said they would not permit police to march in the parade. The 2017 event came a week after jurors acquitted St. Anthony police officer Jeronimo Yanez in the fatal shooting of Philando Castile.

At the time, then-Chief Janee Harteau — the first lesbian to lead the Minneapolis department — called the move divisive. The organizers' last-minute reversal led to protests along the route.

Arradondo said he hopes officers will soon be able to participate "fully as our authentic selves."

Board chair Darcie Baumann said Twin Cities Pride aims to be an inclusive organization.

"What happened last year was outside of our goals and our values," Baumann said. "And we are trying to work to bring people together. We want to foster inclusion and create awareness of all issues that are going on."

Baumann said festival organizers suggested that officers wear an official MPD rainbow T-shirt, and Chief Arradondo accepted that idea.

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