Monday, June 26, 2017

Quote of the Day

Note: Today's Quote of the Day serves as a follow-up to The Wild Reed's June 24 post, Police, Pride, and Philando Castile.

Echoing social media, Minneapolis Police Chief Janeé Harteau called [the Pride parade organizers' decision not to have a large police contingent start the parade] “a decision to exclude officers.” Mainstream media, including the Star Tribune, piled on, calling it a “ban” of police. Reducing the show of police force at the start of the parade is not the same as a ban or exclusion. Exclusion is a powerful word. Gay people should know that – they’ve experienced a lot of genuine exclusion.

Twin Cities Pride knows that the police presence at Pride was celebrated by many members of the community and that it was genuinely painful for others [especially in the wake of the not-guilty verdict in the police killing of Philando Castile], even with Pride’s efforts to tone it down. Pride organizers were not surprised by the protests that slowed the parade on Sunday. The false report of a police “ban” provided a distraction from outrage at laws that protect police from objectively unreasonable conduct.

Should communication have been better? Absolutely – on all sides. Should Pride organizers have thought to call Chief Harteau to let her know about the change to the start of the parade and to reassure her that she and her officers were welcome to march elsewhere, along with firefighters, drag queens and snowplow drivers? Yes.

Should Harteau have picked up the phone to talk with Pride organizers instead of releasing a public letter to Pride and tweeting about police exclusion when there was no such thing? Yes.

Unfortunately for Twin Cities Pride, the story of police exclusion built until it drowned out the truth.

– Eileen A. Scallen
Excerpted from “Pride-Police Controversy
Was a Media Conflagration

Star Tribune
June 26, 2017

See also the related Wild Reed posts:
Police, Pride, and Filando Castile
Making the Connections

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