Black Lives Matter protest was a 'diversion' from MOA to MSP Airport
ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) - In an allegedly planned "diversion," demonstrators with Black Lives Matter Minneapolis attempted to block Terminal 1 at the MSP Airport Wednesday afternoon after moving their protest from it's initial location at the Mall of America.
4 arrests at MOA, 8 at MSP
Bloomington police made four arrests at Mall of America during the demonstration aimed at demanding justice for Jamar Clark, the 24-year-old fatally shot by Minneapolis police officers on Nov. 15. At the mall, three people were arrested for trespassing, one was arrested for trespassing and disorderly conduct, and one individual was arrested for an unrelated Olmstead County warrant. There were no reported injuries and no reports of property damage, police said.
On Tuesday, a judge said three Black Lives Matter leaders were told ahead of the planned protest that they were barred from protesting at Mall of America through a "temporary restraining order." No one else was barred from protesting at the mall.
MSP Airport officials said they would have allowed the group to protest there had officials been alerted in advance.
Eight people were arrested at the airport; two for obstructing justice and six for unlawful assembly.
From the mall to the airport
Shortly after the demonstration began at Mall of America at 1:30 p.m., protestors exited the mall and boarded northbound Blue Line light rail trains to the MSP Airport, where they attempted to block both main terminals, which happened to fall during peak holiday travel time.
"We protest the continued unmitigated state sanctioned violence against Black people and communities of color. We protest the continued denial of justice for Black people and Black communities. We want a complete overhaul of the justice system both locally and nationally. Just days after the non-indictment decision in Sandra Bland’s murder in Texas and two months after the fatal police shooting of Jamar Clark in Minnesota, we continue to demand justice, including the release of the tapes in the Jamar Clark case. Grand juries do not get justice for Black people when they are murdered by police, this is just one way the system is setup and works against Black people," Black Lives Matter Minneapolis said in a news release.
They continue to champion the following demands, as written in the release:
-Prosecute the police involved without a grand jury and by a special prosecutor
-Federal domestic terrorism charges against white supremacists who shot 5 protestors
-Institute a safety plan to protect our communities from Police violence
-Disinvest from police and reinvest in Black futures
Mall of America statement
"Mall of America Security along with Bloomington Police and numerous other law enforcement agencies responded quickly today to end an illegal protest by Black Lives Matter Minneapolis. Approximately 80 stores on the Mall’s east side were closed for about an hour while law enforcement officers escorted remaining protesters off Mall of America property. The rest of the Mall remained open.
Bloomington Police made four arrests; a fifth individual was arrested on unrelated charges. Mall of America has a longstanding policy banning political demonstrations and protests on our private property. That policy is in place to protect the safety of all Mall of America guests, employees and tenants. The organizers of today’s protest were well aware of that policy. We respect the rights of free speech and peaceful assembly. However, the courts have affirmed our right as private property owners to prohibit demonstrations on our property."