Pride to Limit Police Participation in Parade after Castile Verdict

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Twin Cities Pride Parade 2016 – Fox 9

MINNEAPOLIS (KSMP) – Twin Cities Pride says it will limit police presence and participation in its annual parade and other festivities this year in response to the verdict in the Philando Castile case.

Typically, several police departments roll down Hennepin Avenue as the first contingent in the parade to make sure the route is clear and announce that it is about to begin. But this year, Twin Cities Pride says it will have a lone, unmarked police car, as required by law, starting off the parade and there will be limited police participation in the parade itself.

Twin Cities Pride says they decided to forgo part of the police participation in the event this year to “respect the pain the community is feeling” in the wake of the verdict, which found Officer Jeronimo Yanez not guilty on all counts in the fatal shooting of Castile.

“With Twin Cities Pride Parade and Festival drawing about 350,000 people each year, we are doing our best to balance the concerns of the community and our concerns for making this family-friendly event safe and welcoming place for everyone to attend,” organizers wrote on Facebook.

Organizers say they will be scheduling a listening session for later this summer to discuss planning for future Pride events.

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