Amid heavy security and high tensions at the Mall of America near Minneapolis, Minn., Wednesday, activists from the Black Lives Matter movement attempted to storm the mall for a planned high-profile protest in its east rotunda before being forced out by police and taking their demonstration on to light rail and the Minneapolis airport.
Demonstrations at the airport disrupted traffic, causing roadway delays, officials confirmed via Twitter, though the airport remained open.
Protesters are seeking justice for Jamar Clark, a 24-year-old black man who was killed Nov. 15 by Minneapolis police. Activists say Clark was handcuffed at the time he was killed, a contention police deny. Activists are calling for the release of video of the shooting.
A similar protest last year, also held at the Mall of America during the busy holiday shopping season, drew more than 2,000 people, according to the Associated Press.
A judge on Tuesday denied the Mall of America’s request that it be allowed to bar demonstrators from the mall, though the mall’s request that three key organizers of the protest be blocked from entry was granted. The judge also declined the mall’s request that the court force Black Lives Matter to remove messages about the planned protest from social media.
As the protest approached stores in the mall’s east rotunda began shutting down for several hours while law enforcement with dogs patrolled the area, according to reports in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. People entering the mall were subjected to searches, and a sign at the mall declares that “Mall of America is private property. Demonstrations and protests are strictly prohibited. Those violating these rules are subject to eviction and trespass.”