Pride group talking to police about parade ban

30 Hayden St. Unit 204

The decision was made in the wake of the June 16 verdict delivered by a Ramsey County jury that cleared Jeronimo Yanez, a former St. Anthony police officer, of all charges in the shooting death of Philando Castile.

"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".

The parade was stopped just minutes after getting underway in downtown Minneapolis.

People who had planned to attended had voiced concerns about the police presence after a local police officer was acquitted after the shooting of an African American. They will hold the unity flag or march alongside the rainbow, bisexual or transgender flags, Belstler said, according to the Tribune.

Parade organizers issued a statement Friday announcing a reversal of their decision after meeting with Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau, the city's first openly gay police chief.

On Tuesday, Pride organizers said police officers were not welcome due to the hard feelings surrounding the death of Philando Castile, and the outcome of the subsequent trial.

Defense attorneys said officer Jeronimo Yanez was scared for life when he shot Philando Castile, 32, seconds after Castile informed the officer he was armed.

The statement said organizers would stick to a plan announced earlier to have one unmarked police vehicle clear the way for the parade, as required by law. "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".

Among the largest pride celebrations in the country, the Twin Cities festival now draws 350,000 people every year.

"The point of this parade is to be very accepting and inclusive", Otto said.

"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", executive director Dot Belstler said in a statement.

"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", she said in a brief video.

"I just think anytime we can have a conversation and understand opposing views, we find out we have a lot more in common than we do different", Harteau said.

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