MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) - Protesters interrupted the annual Twin Cities Pride parade on Sunday morning, in response to the decision by the event's board to allow uniformed officers to participate in the event.
As parade participants marched down Hennepin Avenue, Black Lives Matter protesters joined in, about a block ahead of the celebration. Protestors carried signs reading "No KKKops at Pride. Make Pride revolutionary again," and others.
The group stopped at 9th Street and 10th Street, halting the parade for several minutes at a time. Some of these halts lead to heated exchanges.
One protester said the group is "reclaiming Pride in response to the reversal of Pride's decision to include uniformed officers in the parade."
"All of these folks are not getting the justice that they deserve," protester Kent Mori told Fox 9's Rose Heaphy. "And the Pride folks allow the cops to have front and center attention, and they shouldn't."
"We understand black lives matter, we believe it wholeheartedly," said one Pride-goer, Laura Moore. "But to create a division between us as groups, that's just not okay."
Others felt alright about the slow-down. "The police feel raw, and a lot of people in the community feel raw, so it's okay to slow down a little bit," Pride-goer Eileen Scallen said.
Meanwhile, several uniformed police officers marched in the parade, including Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau. Harteau could be seen dancing with a group of officers. The group was noticeably smaller than in years past.
"To be here and be part of the community, to show them that we're here for them and to show us their support was great," said St. Paul Officer Shannon Diedrich.
The union president for officers said that certain conditions in the board's reversal of the decision to exclude them would cause many officers to boycott the parade.
The Twin Cities Pride board had originally chosen to minimize police involvement in the wake of the trial verdict of Officer Jeronimo Yanez.
Police say that because of the protest, the parade was put about 90 minutes behind schedule.