Gov. Dayton told airport not to seek additional charges in BLM protest

Governor Mark Dayton told Airport Police not to pursue additional charges against protesters following the Dec. 23 demonstration by Black Lives Matter at Minneapolis-St.Paul International Airport. While police arrested eight protesters that day, investigators spent the next weeks reviewing surveillance video, and identified additional protesters for possible charges.

Before making the decision on whether to pursue the charges, the Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC), met with its senior leaders, as well as Governor Dayton, following his meeting with Black Lives Matter. Ultimately, MAC decided not to pursue additional charges.

In a statement to Fox 9, Matt Swenson, the governor’s press secretary, said: “The Metropolitan Airports Commission was in the process of making its decision on whether to press charges. During the course of making that decision, the MAC sought Governor Dayton’s opinion in the matter. The Governor made clear to the MAC that, in his opinion, they should not press charges in this matter. However, the Governor also made clear that he would support the MAC in making clear to the public that any similar actions in the future, by anyone, would be taken very seriously and may be subject to prosecution.”

In an e-mail to airport police staff about the decision not to pursue charges, the deputy police chief said the agency planned to review its policies related to demonstrations, including a review of the ordinance on demonstrations.

A spokesperson for the airport said no decision on any possible changes has been made yet.