On the eve of its 2021 festival, Twin Cities Pride called on the City of Minneapolis to waive its requirement that off-duty city police officers staff large events.
In a statement, the organization wrote that it intends to staff Pride events with “private security, community safety and crisis response teams” instead.
"While safety at Pride events has always been, and will continue to be, our top priority, we disagree that the [Minneapolis Police Department] is the best entity to protect us," the statement reads.
“The values continually displayed by this department do not align with our own.”
This year, Twin Cities Pride is hosting its festivities in Loring Park, starting at 10 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday, and will feature “BIPOC and LGBTQ+ vendors, food courts, a beer garden and music stages,” according to the event website.
There will not be a parade at this year’s Twin Cities Pride.
Events in Minneapolis like Pride typically require a presence of off-duty MPD officers, per city policy.
The off-duty officers are responsible for “maintaining peace and security during the event” and are “effective at securing valuables or currency, monitoring alcohol use and resolving conflicts,” according to the city.
“With that, we have 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 statement reads.
The murder of George Floyd by former MPD officer Derek Chauvin in May 2020 sparked a number of organizations in the Twin Cities to sever their ties with MPD, seeking alternatives for security arrangements.
In 2018, MPD Chief Medaria Arradondo told officers they would not be permitted to wear their uniforms while marching in the Pride parade after their presence proved controversial the previous year.
Other Pride events throughout the country have also pushed back against the presence of police officers.
Last month, the organizers of Pride events in New York City and Denver announced they would not allow police officers to host exhibitions at Pride or participate in uniform, per CNN.