What began earlier today as a protest at the Mall of America by Black Lives Matter demonstrators moved by light-rail train to the Minneapolis-St.Paul International Airport, where protesters briefly blocked roadways and an airport terminal.
An estimated 500 protesters had gathered at the Mall of America to bring attention to the Nov. 15, 2015 police shooting death of 24-year-old Jamar Clark. The demonstrators had been warned by a judge prior to the protest that the Mall of America’s property owners could legally block such a protest. Officials of the Black Lives Matter group vowed to hold the demonstration regardless.
Police and mall security quickly dispersed the demonstrators from the mall, but not before some stores had closed in anticipation of the protest; Santa left his sleigh prior to the scheduled protest Many of the demonstrators then took to light-rail train to get to the second-busiest airport in the region.
There the protesters blocked roadways to the airport, causing traffic delays and blocking access to one of the two terminals. Several people have been arrested in what Minnesota governor Mark Dayton has termed a “very, very dangerous situation” in and around the airport.
Dayton questioned the need of such demonstrations to bring attention to the Jamar Clark incident, since state and federal authorities are investigating it. In reference to requests that the police video of the incident be released to the public, Dayton said that doing so could jeopardize the ongoing investigations.
Jamar Clark, who was in police custody when he was shot on the sidewalk outside his girlfriend’s apartment building on Nov. 15, 2015, died as a result of that gunshot. His death was ruled a homicide by the coroner. Both the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and the FBI are investigating the incident.
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