ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — A number of protesters staged a “die-in” at the state’s official event honoring Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy to demand changes to police practices.
The protesters also joined hands and held signs bearing messages such as “White Silence = Violence” as politicians such as Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Rep. Keith Ellison, and Sen. Al Franken addressed the crowd at Macalester College Monday morning.READ MORE: Minneapolis Elections: Mayoral Candidates On Strong Mayor, Public Safety Ballot Questions
Meanwhile, hundreds of students, community members and lawmakers took the streets to march to remember King and his efforts in the fight for civil rights. People of all ages and races came together to honor leader of the civil rights movement, his legacy and his life.
Snelling Avenue was filled with their singing voices as they recited some of the same words that motivated activists during the movement.
Marchers say they want to set an example for this generation and others after them, just as King did.
Another march was planned in St. Paul Monday afternoon, which was organized by the movement known as Black Lives Matter. They organized a huge protest at Mall of America during the Saturday before Christmas Day.
Civil rights attorney Nekima Levy-Pounds faces charges after that protest that could require her to help pay for the overtime police presence or even serve time in jail.
Levy-Pounds said Monday’s march is intended to be peaceful, and part of a national effort to talk about tough issues she says many are still facing today, like racial profiling and police brutality.
She says police community relations issues are an extension of issues that King raised when he was the leader of the civil rights movement.
“He talked about some of the issues with law enforcement and negative community police relations,” she said. “And he said it’s time for a change, it’s time we begin to respect the dignity of all people and to ensure that our laws are applied in a just, equal manner.”
The St. Paul Police Department said organizers are being cooperative but only to a degree. Police say they’ve only been told that the march will begin at the corner of University and Snelling Avenues and end at the State Capitol.READ MORE: Men Shot By Kyle Rittenhouse Can Be Called 'Rioters,' 'Looters' & 'Arsonists' At Trial, Judge Rules (CBS News)
The family of Marcus Golden is expected to participate in the march. Golden was shot and killed by police last Wednesday. Police say he drove his vehicle towards officers.
They were initially called to the apartment building to investigate a woman’s complaint that she had received threatening text messages.
Following this afternoon’s march, the Black Lives Matter group said they would gather at the apartment building for a candlelight vigil to honor Golden’s life.
The officer-involved shooting is still under investigation.
Similar marches are scheduled in Chicago, New York City, Los Angeles and other metro areas.
In Minneapolis, Grammy-winning singer Yolanda Adams performed at the 25th annual Martin Luther King Day breakfast, which was held at the Minneapolis Convention Center this morning. The theme of this year’s breakfast was “Infinite Hope, Meaningful Action.”
Dr. Josie Robinson Johnson was given the first-ever Lifetime Local Legends award. She was honored for her life-long commitment to education, civil rights, social justice and ensuring that our children have an opportunity to achieve.
She was at the march on Washington in 1963 with King, and went on to become the first African-American on the University of Minnesota’s Board of Regents.
The keynote speaker at this morning’s breakfast was Vernon E. Jordan Jr., who served as adviser to former President Bill Clinton.MORE NEWS: Reward Offered For Information On Suspected Arson In Central Minnesota
One of the things Jordan talked about was the controversy that surrounded the Cheerios commercials that General Mills aired last year which showed a little girl whose father was black and mother was white.