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The recent deaths of unarmed black men shot by police officers in Missouri and New York are still making waves in the U.S. The latest display of dissent and frustration regarding police brutality in the country took place on Saturday, in Minnesota, when the Mall of America was targeted by protesters in a ‘Black Lives Matter’ rally.
Dissent against police hit the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota following the death of unarmed black men Michael Brown and Eric Garner by white police officers. Somewhere around 2,000 and 3,000 individuals gathered in the shopping center’s pavilion this Saturday, supporting the national day of protest set up by Black Lives Matter Minneapolis.
The protesters managed to block the entry for about half an hour and those who were in a last-minute Christmas shopping spree were interrupted by “I can’t Breathe” slogans and songs. As a result, the administrators of the mall told the protesters they were trespassing and might face arrest.
Most of the protesters decided to take the warning into consideration, while many cops wearing protection helmets persuaded the swarm to scatter or leave the shopping center. Still, some of the protesters managed to enter the mall’s shopping zone and took charge of two levels where they had a few “die-ins” outside the retail shops.
The dissidents, waving their hands in the air, were again cautioned through an electronic board message that they risk being taken in by the police because of shopping center’s policy against demonstrations.
Some of the dissenters were headed away by police, handcuffed. Twenty-five individuals were taken in custody, as per Bloomington police.
Shopping came back to normal only after two hours, during which the protesters were waded off and the east side of the mall was partially secured. Several customers chose to remain inside outlets until the dissenters left the zone. By 5 p.m., costumers had free access to the entire shopping center.
The shopping center supervisors said they were baffled by Black Lives Matter coordinators for disregarding mall’s policy concerning protests of a political nature. According to them, the activists were not so much interested in other’s security, but rather in putting forth a political statement and capturing media’s attention. They were considered insensitive to shoppers’ desires, who were basically there to shop and find some entertainment with their families.
Protesters, on the other side, saw the rally as a success, as they managed to create more awareness about their cause., according to one of the organizers.
Image Source: AM 1240 WJON