MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The road in front of the Governor’s Mansion in St. Paul remains closed Tuesday after officers were unsuccessful in trying to relocate peaceful protesters.
The protesters have been camped out since Thursday in honor of Philando Castile.
Officers asked protesters, some of whom were still walking in the middle of Summit Avenue between Oxford and Chatsworth streets, to gather their belongings and leave the street at about 2 a.m. Tuesday. But police soon abandoned their plans.
Minneapolis tattoo artist Jacob Ladda says he did not intend to become a leader of the encampment, but he says it has become a calling.
“They don’t want to give up the street because they don’t want to stop that message, they don’t want to stop that goal that they have, we have,” Ladda said. “As a half-black, half-white person, we need to get over our flesh and start using our souls, start treating each other equally.”
He says the road started as a place to vent anger of Castile’s death last Wednesday night in Falcon Heights.
“It’s turned into a place of healing, it’s turned into a place of celebration, it’s turned into a space of community,” Ladda said.
He spent the day negotiating with officers, who say they would like to reopen the three-block stretch of Summit Avenue so they can lessen their presence on scene.
“People don’t want to give up the space to create that justice and that awareness, the awareness that justice needs to prevail,” he said.
The space will remain theirs for now, as an old mansion becomes even more a part of history.
Officers on the scene say it is now up to the command staff to decide if the stretch of Summit Avenue will reopen anytime soon.