MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Following the protests over the past week where we saw major metro freeways shut down, demonstrators are now focusing on a major shopping center and the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office.
Members of Black Lives Matter St. Paul want to shut down Rosedale Center in Roseville. They plan to protest at 1 o’clock on Sunday afternoon.
Leaders in St. Anthony Village are calling racial inequality an urgent challenge for the city and many others around it in the state of Minnesota. The statement from the city posted on its website comes one week after the death of Philando Castille.
St. Anthony police officer Jeronimo Yanez shot him during a traffic stop while patrolling in Falcon Heights.
A city of roughly 5,000 people, Falcon Heights contracts with St. Anthony police department.
The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) is investigating Castile’s death and will present the information to the Ramsey County attorney.
The city says in light of the recent incidents, St. Anthony has done additional review of arrest data and shares concerns about the information and what it represents.
Data shows since the start of 2016, St. Anthony police officer arrested people nearly 1,000 times.
Of those arrests, the city says 46 percent were black, 47 percent white.
Black people make up about 6 percent of the population in the area St. Anthony police officers are responsible for.
On Friday, a group gathered outside Ramsey County Attorney John Choi’s office to demand the prosecutor brings forth criminal charges against officer Yanez.
“We are tired of coming out and doing this,” one protestor said.
For the past 22 Fridays this group has gathered outside the Hennepin County Justice Center demanding justice for Jamar Clark, another black man who was shot and killed by a police officer in Minneapolis in November.
The city says St. Anthony Police Department is made up of 23 officers, three are not white.
The city lists one community service officer as black.
Data from the city doesn’t reveal why police contact was initiated in any of these cases and represents all arrests, citations and warnings since the beginning of the year, not just traffic stops.
Yanez’s attorney says his client was reacting to the presence of a gun, not Castile’s race.
St. Anthony Village has decided to cancel its VillageFest Parade on August 5th saying the city no longer has resources to handle an event of that size.
All other VillageFest events will continue as scheduled.