July 22, 2016 5:48 pm
Updated: July 22, 2016 5:52 pm

VPD confirms it will march in Pride Parade after concerns from Black Lives Matter movement

A rainbow flag is held by marchers in the annual Pride parade in Vancouver's West End.


After Black Lives Matter Vancouver asked the Vancouver Police to voluntarily withdraw their float from the upcoming Pride Parade as a “show of solidarity and understanding,” the department says it will still take part in the parade.

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The open letter issued by the activist group last week came weeks after its Toronto counterparts halted the city’s parade until organizers signed off on a list of demands including banning police floats from future marches.

The Vancouver chapter says it stands with Black Lives Matter Toronto in its discontent with police marching in the parade.

READ MORE: Black Lives Matter Vancouver wants police float out of Pride parade

It says having Vancouver police on the ground to perform a civil service is understandable, but having officers participate on a float is “inappropriate and insulting” to those who made Pride celebrations possible.

Vancouver Police spokesperson Randy Fincham says they are working with Black Lives Matter Vancouver as well as the Pride Society that organizes the Parade to alleviate any concerns.

“We do intend to march in the Parade at the invitation of Pride,” said Fincham on Friday. “This is something we have done for 20 years, since 1997. But we do appreciate the concerns that Black Lives Matter has raised. We are very cognizant of what’s happening in the United States. We will work with them to try to address their concerns and do what we can to mitigate them.”

The Vancouver Pride Parade is taking place on Sunday, July 31.

~With files from the Canadian Press 

© 2016 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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