The organization Twin Cities Pride is asking the city of Minneapolis to remove the requirement that large events be staffed with police officers. In a statement on the Twin Cities Pride website, it said it has “joined the chorus of community voices to strongly call on the City of Minneapolis to suspend the current requirement for event planners and organizers to contract with off-duty Minneapolis Police Department officers for security at large events.”
The organization said it doesn’t think the Minneapolis Police Department is the best entity to “represent them” and it does not “align” with the “values” of the department.
According to city requirements, off-duty Minneapolis police officers are required at events for “maintaining peace and security during the event.” The city requires event coordinators to hire the officers to ensure the safety of large events, at a ratio of one officer to 500 people when intoxicating beverages are being served and one officer to 1,000 people when intoxicating beverages are not being served.
The Twin Cities Pride Board of Directors said that safety is still its “top priority” and stated that they will be increasing “private security” and “crisis response teams.” It did not give any further detail regarding the logistics of solely utilizing private security.
The Twin Cities Pride Board of Directors said it will “continue to push against the inclusion of armed officers at Twin Cities Pride events out of concern and respect for the safety of our LGBT+ community, particularly transgender, Black and brown community members who have historically and continuously been targets of discrimination and violence by police officers.”
Having police officers present or participating in Pride events has proven controversial in the past. According to Bring Me The News, “in 2018, MPD Chief Medaria Arradondo told officers they would not be permitted to wear their uniforms while marching in the Pride parade.”
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Hayley Tschetter is a reporter with The Minnesota Sun | Star News Network and The College Fix. She graduated with a degree in Communications from the University of Northwestern-St. Paul. Send news tips to [email protected]
Photo “Twin Cities Pride Parade” by Tony Webster. CC BY-SA 4.0.