Pride: Suspend requirement to contract Minneapolis police officers for large events

The organizers of Twin Cities Pride are calling on Minneapolis city leaders to suspend the requirement for large events to hire off-duty police officers for security. 

The Board of Directors released a statement Friday morning renewing their push against having armed police officers at Pride.

"While safety at Pride events has always been, and will continue to be, our top priority, we disagree that the MPD is the best entity to protect us," the statement read. "The values continually displayed by this department do not align with our own."

Organizers say they have increased private security, community safety and crisis response teams to reduce the number of officers at Pride.

The Minneapolis Police Department said it will not issue a statement in regards to police officers at Pride. Officials with the City of Minneapolis also declined to comment.

In 2017, Twin Cities Pride announced it would not allow a uniformed police presence at the start of its annual parade and would limit police presence in the parade and other festivities following the verdict in the Philando Castile case. However, organizers later walked back that decision.

Twin Cities Pride returns with scaled-down festival in Loring Park

After a year off due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Twin Cities Pride Festival returns this weekend, although it will be scaled down from recent years. There will be vendors, food courts, a beer garden and music stages, but there will not be a parade or fireworks.

The Pride festival runs from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at Loring Park.