Black Lives Matter demonstrators briefly halted the 2017 Twin Cities Pride Festival this past weekend in downtown Minneapolis, upset over the inclusion of police officers in the parade in the wake of the acquittal of a Minnesota police officer in the shooting death of Philando Castile.
Thousands of people were gathered along the parade route on Hennepin Avenue on Sunday morning when the parade came to a halt as Black Lives Matter demonstrators jumped in front of the lead vehicle, which happened to be a police car, according to a local CBS affiliate.
Marchers stopped at every intersection and delayed the parade for an hour, speaking into a mobile microphone and speaker, demanding that police officers be removed from the parade. They followed with a staged die-in, as well as a moment of silence for people who have been affected by police violence, as the crowd looked on.
The demonstrators were upset that organizers decided to include police officers in the parade so soon after St. Anthony, Minn., Police Officer Jeronimo Yanez was acquitted for the July 2016 killing of Castile, a black motorist.
After an hour of delays, the parade proceeded as planned, and Dot Belstler, executive director of Twin Cities Pride, told CBS that she didn’t see anything wrong with the protest disrupting the parade.
“People are allowed to protest; it’s great, and I think people were really respectful of that, and now it’s time for a parade,” Beltsler said.
Read more at CBS.