Mayor: Crashed Ice will go on as planned, despite BLM protest

St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman said the Red Bull Crashed Ice event in St. Paul on Feb. 27 will go on as planned, despite Black Lives Matter-St. Paul’s plans to shut down the event.

Last year, a record 140,000 people attended the popular downhill ice cross competition at the Cathedral of St. Paul and even bigger crowds are expected this year.

Black Lives Matter-St. Paul planned similar demonstrations at the Minnesota State Fair and the Twin Cities Marathon last year. Just like with those events, Crashed Ice will continue as planned, Coleman said in a statement Wednesday.

“Our law enforcement in St. Paul is expert at protecting both demonstrators’ First Amendment rights and the public – and we will undertake measures to do the same thing during the Red Bull Crashed Ice event,” Coleman said in a statement.

Coleman said in a statement Wednesday that just like the Minnesota State Fair and the Twin Cities Marathon, where similar Black Lives Matter demonstrations also took place

Black Lives Matter leaders announced on Monday the demonstration will focus on St. Paul Sgt. Jeffrey Rothecker, who was put on paid administrative leave after urging drivers on Facebook to run over Black Lives Matter protestors at a Martin Luther King Jr. Day rally.

READ THE STORY - Black Lives Matter plans to shut down Red Bull Crashed Ice in St. Paul

The protest is scheduled to take place at 5:30 p.m. if officials do not meet their list of demands, which include firing Rothecker and preventing him from being hired as a police officer in any other city. 

“I have said it before and I will say it again: there is no more important issue to me than addressing the persistent racial disparities in our community, and I have made it a key focus of my policy work as Mayor,” Coleman said in a statement. “I understand and share the outrage and disgust at the allegations of the officer-involved threat made on social media. There is no room in the Saint Paul Police Department for employees who threaten members of the public.”

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