Members of the MPD,
First and foremost I hope my message finds you well.
I want to take the time to share with you a decision I have made regarding the MPD and the upcoming Minneapolis PRIDE parade. After thoughtful deliberation and intentional conversations with community members, elected officials and MPD officers, I have decided to not allow MPD officers to march in this year’s Minneapolis PRIDE parade in uniform.
My decision is based in part on the adamant opposition of law enforcement’s participation by some representatives of our local LGBTIQ communities who have stated they feel strongly they do not want any law enforcement officers marching in uniform in the parade. Representatives have conveyed to me that there is still a great deal of pain and harm that has occurred in their community, specifically our LGBTIQ communities of color, which has not been completely heard and addressed.
As Chief, I am committed to ensuring that the MPD increases our capacity to build allyship with our city’s LGBTIQ communities. This will require all of us in the MPD to create opportunities for genuine dialogue. For us as a department, every day, to listen and learn from other’s life experience and seek to first understand, and then be understood.
I have the highest respect for our sworn and civilian team members of the MPD. Your true, authentic self is one of the key qualities that make you the wonderful public servants and leaders that you are. As you continue to represent the MPD and the honorable profession of law enforcement, I support you doing so by showing your authentic self and I would never want you to feel de-valued or minimized by not being allowed to proudly adorn your full MPD uniform while marching in the PRIDE parade. I want everyone we engage with in our city on a day-to-day basis to be just as proud to share their full authentic selves with us as well.
Genuine relationship-building work should be done on a daily basis and not solely focused around a singular event. I have, and will continue to reach out to members of our LGBTIQ communities over the next several days to help create opportunities for important conversations regarding trauma and the harm that has been experienced both with law enforcement in general and specifically with the MPD, and how we might forge a pathway forward that involves healing and trust.
For those MPD employees, both sworn and civilian, that wish to participate and march in this year’s PRIDE parade, please feel free to do so and show your support. For sworn members who wish to march in the parade, you must be in civilian attire. During the parade, both sworn and civilian members are able to wear MPD rainbow t-shirts with a badge design on the front. Please contact PIO Sgt. Darcy Horn (612-231-4486) with your t-shirt size if you wish to receive one.
I am hopeful that through listening, learning and healing with members of our LGBTIQ community we as members of the MPD will get to a place in the near future where we will be able to participate fully as our authentic selves and march in the annual Minneapolis PRIDE parade.
Wishing all members of the MPD and our communities Happy PRIDE!
Chief Medaria Arradondo
Minneapolis Police Department