Hundreds Protest #BlackLivesMatter Charges Outside Minneapolis Court


11 defendants were arraigned in Hennepin County Court on March 10, 2015 on misdemeanor criminal charges arising out a peaceful protest at the Mall of America on December 20, 2014. Hundreds stood outside the court in solidarity with the defendants. The arrests and charges have drawn sharp criticism from a broad rang of citizenry, specifically the clergy.

Rev Grant Stevenson, Pastor, St. Paul-Reformation Lutheran Church · Saint Paul, Minnesota, said, "50 years on, to the week, from the march on Selma, we are still prosecuting teh people who are standing up for a better world. It is bizarre." Clerical collars were sprinkled throughout the crowd. Bloomington City Attorney Sandra Johnson has drawn sharp criticism for her use of city resources to prosecute these charges.

On Monday, Black Lives Matter released emails that the group contends reveal "disturbing levels of coordination" between the mall and city of Bloomington attorneys in legal decisions arising from the Dec. 20 protest. The 11 black clad defendants were arraigned and ordered to appear in this court on May 1, 2015 for a pre-trial hearing. "We're wearing black because we are mourning the death of our American moral compass," Mica Grimm said.

The group's supporters called for a boycott of the Mall of America.

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