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Toronto Pride Parade to kick off despite tensions between police, LGBTQ community

Click to play video: 'Tensions linger between LGBTQ2 community, police' Tensions linger between LGBTQ2 community, police
WATCH: Toronto has been host to one of the world's biggest pride parades for 38 years. This year's event is taking place - just months after the arrest of an alleged serial killer. As Erica Vella reports, there are lingering concerns in the community about how the police handled the case – Jun 24, 2018

Crowds of people have filled the streets of Toronto today to celebrate the annual Pride Parade, though the tone was subdued at times by tensions between the LGBTQ community and the city’s police force.

More than 120 groups are marching along the rainy downtown route in this year’s parade – but uniformed officers are not among them.

WATCH ABOVE: Wynne, Tory, Horwath and Singh attend Pride celebrations

Click to play video: 'Wynne, Tory, Horwath and Singh attend Pride celebrations' Wynne, Tory, Horwath and Singh attend Pride celebrations
Wynne, Tory, Horwath and Singh attend Pride celebrations – Jun 24, 2018

Earlier this year, members of the LGBTQ community accused Toronto police of failing to seriously investigate the disappearances of men linked to the city’s gay neighbourhood for years – until January, when 66-year-old landscaper Bruce McArthur was arrested and subsequently charged with eight counts of first-degree murder.

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Mike Morris, a 29-year-old nursing student who came to the parade bare-chested and in a rainbow Speedo, says the allegations against McArthur and strain between the community and police reaffirmed his desire to attend the parade.

WATCH: Despite the rain, people poured into downtown Toronto to celebrate the city’s annual Pride Parade

Click to play video: 'Toronto celebrates Pride with annual parade' Toronto celebrates Pride with annual parade
Toronto celebrates Pride with annual parade – Jun 24, 2018

READ MORE: LGBTQ community gathers for Pride’s annual Dyke March

He says the LGBTQ community needs to come together during “difficult situations.”

Tensions involving police and the parade started brewing in 2016, when members of Black Lives Matter abruptly halted the march to present several demands, among them that uniformed police, their floats and cruisers be excluded.

WATCH: Mayor says this year’s Pride celebration is bittersweet in wake of the McArthur case
Click to play video: 'Mayor says this year’s Pride celebration is bittersweet in wake of the McArthur case' Mayor says this year’s Pride celebration is bittersweet in wake of the McArthur case
Mayor says this year’s Pride celebration is bittersweet in wake of the McArthur case – Jun 24, 2018

The group cited tensions between the force and black citizens arising from racial profiling, among other things.

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This is second consecutive year uniformed officers have been excluded from marching in the parade, but police are on hand as the streets are flooded with hordes of spectators.

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