MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Mayor Chris Coleman has responded to Black Lives Matter St. Paul’s plans to protest the Red Bull Crashed Ice event.
Crashed Ice will take place Feb. 26 and 27 between the Cathedral of St. Paul and the Xcel Energy Center. The winter event usually brings more than 100,000 people to downtown St. Paul.
Black Lives Matter St. Paul said they will protest in the form of a non-violent shutdown beginning at 5:30 p.m. Saturday at the Cathedral.
The Facebook page for the group says they want St. Paul Police to fire Sgt. Jeffrey Rothecker and they want him criminally prosecuted.
Rothecker is on paid administrative leave after suggesting online that drivers run over demonstrators during a march on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. He has since apologized, but Black Lives Matter St. Paul has called for a re-investigation of every case in which Rothecker’s investigations contributed to a conviction.
On Wednesday, Coleman said he has instructed the city’s police department to “leave all options on the table when it comes to protecting the athletes and spectators coming from across the globe to experience Red Bull Crashed Ice.”
Coleman has used similar language before previous proposed demonstrations by the group, most notably plans to block the end of the Twin Cities Marathon.
“Just like the Minnesota State Fair and the Twin Cities Marathon, this event will go on as planned,” Coleman said. “Our law enforcement in St. Paul is expert at protecting both demonstrators’ First Amendment rights and the public — and we will undertake measures to do the same during the Red Bull Crashed Ice event.”