Hot Topic: Mall of America Protest

On December 20, an estimated 1,500 to 3,000 people occupied the rotunda and some corridors at the Mall of America to protest police brutality nationwide. After police shut down stores for about two hours to diffuse the demonstrations, the Bloomington city attorney decided to pursue criminal charges against the organizers.

    “The Bloomington protesters deserved a chance to hold a peaceful protest, but not on property the Minnesota Supreme Court affirmed in 1999 as private. Protesters were warned, and now some of them will face the consequences.”
Star Tribune op-ed

    “It’s important to make an example out of these organizers so that this never happens again. …It was a powder keg waiting for the match.”
–Bloomington city attorney Sandra Johnson

    “Mall of America officials in Minnesota are calculating how much revenue its 80 stores lost after a ‘Black Lives Matter’ protest shut down the mall. …Bloomington City Attorney Sandra Johnson said she’ll figure those ‘staggering’ costs, along with police overtime, into any pending charges against the protest organizers.”
New York Daily News

    “The notion that people expressing themselves in public should pay for the police is perhaps unprecedented, according to civil rights attorneys, and certainly chilling to anyone who thinks they might want to gather to protest something, someday. …Peaceful assembly is a founding right, not ‘The Price Is Right.’”
–Jon Tevlin, Star Tribune

    “This is more than trespassing. This is unlawful public assembly, public nuisance, one could argue it was riot in the third degree.”
–Sandra Johnson

    “Had the protesters (whose cause I heartily agree with—equal justice for equal crime) left pathways to the businesses, they would perhaps be guilty of a simple misdemeanor. As it is, they should be fined some amount for inconsiderate grief caused to innocents not related to their purposes.”
Star Tribune letter to the editor

    “As a community, we are saddened by Mall of America and attorney Johnson’s decision to misdirect public resources to protect corporate profits instead of supporting justice for Black people at this critical time in our nation’s history.”
–Black Lives Matter Minneapolis Facebook post