Black Lives Matter advocates attemptedÂ toÂ hold up the Minneapolis Pride Parade Sunday by protesting the inclusion of police in the march.
A group of aboutÂ 75 protesters â€”Â some of whichÂ wore rainbow garb and carried a â€œJustice for Philandoâ€ banner while shouting slogansÂ likeÂ â€œNo KKKops at Pride!â€Â â€” briefly blocked intersections and caused several slowdowns on Minneapolisâ€™ Hennepin Avenue.Â They claimed that the Pride event was perpetuating â€œwhite supremacyâ€ and â€œignoring the traumaâ€ caused by the verdict earlier this month in the Philando Castile case, according toÂ the Huffington Post.
The cityâ€™s parade organizers originally chose to exclude police following theÂ acquittal of Jeronimo Yanez â€” the police officer who shot Castile in 2016 â€” but decided to re-invite them Friday, according to Star Tribune.Â Over 30 officers marched in the parade,Â including JaneÃ© Harteau, Minneapolisâ€™s first lesbian police chief, who led the effort to have officers reinstated.
â€œI think they can march,â€ said parade-goer Saddia Washington of Champlin. â€œNot every police officer is a bad person. As long as theyâ€™re rainbow, Iâ€™m fine.â€
â€œGay Pride is not about hiding yourself. Itâ€™s about being yourself,â€ Washingtonâ€™sÂ friend Jasmine Looney added.
â€œI think they should march, period,â€ married couple Don Jones and Bob Driscoll of Minneapolis said, addingÂ that broad inclusion should prevail.
However, not all parade-goers shared similar sentiments.Â â€œI feel police do a really good job in the schools, [but] I supported the original decision [to exclude police], and I donâ€™t really appreciate them overturning it,â€ said a St. Paul public school teacher. â€œPride started out because of police brutality. I believe Yanez should be in jail. If police are brutalizing people of color in our state, itâ€™s hard to want to celebrate them.â€
Most spectators were unaware of the protesters and assumed that the stops were caused by traffic lights, Star Tribune reported.Â No one was arrested, according to police spokesman Corey Schmidt, and law enforcement officersÂ made no attempts to interrupt protesters.
A similar disruption occurred at New Yorkâ€™s Pride parade whenÂ protesters staged a sit-in,Â binding their hands together to create a human chain while chanting â€œfuck the police,â€ according to a Buzzfeed News livestream.
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