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Minneapolis police chief responds to Pride's decision to nix officers from parade

"Police officers are more than just officers they are human beings with families who are also part of this community."
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In the wake of the Jeronimo Yanez verdict, Twin Cities Pride announced this week it won't have police marching in the parade this year, and that's not sitting well with Minneapolis' police chief.

Chief Janee Harteau issued a response Thursday, saying she's "beyond disappointed" that Pride organizers didn't talk with her first.

"I am beyond disappointed that you didn’t feel you could talk with me before making such a divisive decision that has really hurt so many in our community including the LGBT members of this Department (and their family members), and those who serve and protect throughout our state," Harteau wrote in a letter to Dot Belstler, Executive Director of Twin Cities Pride.

Harteau assures the director that even though officers aren't welcome to march in the parade, the Minneapolis Police Department will still "do all they can" to make sure the event is safe.

But the chief argues that the decision only creates more tension between police and the community.

"I really struggle to see how this decision helps our community heal and the message of division and not inclusion is hurtful to many of us. Police officers are more than just officers they are human beings with families who are also part of this community."

Harteau continued to say she knows minority communities have historically had a difficult relationship with law enforcement, and that's why her department has worked so hard on community outreach.

You can read the full letter here.

Not only is Harteau the city's first female police chief, she's also Minneapolis' first openly gay police chief. She led the Pride parade as Grand Marshall three years ago. 

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