In St. Paul and Minneapolis, hundreds join in second night of protests
By MATT MCKINNEY AND ERIN ADLER , STAR TRIBUNE
Protesters took to the streets for a second night Thursday to decry the release of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer charged with killing George Floyd on May 25.
The rallies — one in St. Paul, one in Minneapolis — came on the heels of a march Wednesday night in south Minneapolis that ended when 51 people were arrested near the Police Department’s Fifth Precinct headquarters.
As of 10:15 p.m. Thursday, the rallies appeared to have wrapped up, and no one had been arrested.
At the St. Paul event, dubbed the Secret March, hundreds of people, including family members of Minnesotans killed by police, marched down University Avenue to the State Capitol.
The march was organized by the Justice Squad, Visual Black Justice, Families Supporting Families Against Police Violence and the 10K Foundation.
Former NBA player Royce White, a march organizer,said its message was “that the state has human lives, deaths, murders, on their hands, and this is a symbol of the state’s authority here in Minnesota. And so we brought our sorrows and pains to their doorsteps to leave.”
The marchers carried signs bearing the names of 100 people killed by police in Minnesota, along with five coffins and a sign that said, “Who will be next?”
“That’s the feeling amongst the people right now,” said White. “Obviously we are extremely dissatisfied with the decision to release Derek Chauvin on bond.”
In Minneapolis, several hundred people gathered outside the Hennepin County Government Center for a protest organized by the Twin Cities Coalition for Justice 4 Jamar, Black Lives Matter Minnesota and other activist organizations.
Standing on the center’s steps, speakers called for Chauvin to be taken back into custody as Aztec dancers from Kalpulli Yaocenoxtli circled two drum players.
The crowd chanted, “Say his name! George Floyd!” and “No justice, no peace!”
Chauvin shouldn’t have been given the option of bail, the protesters said. They also decried the arrests of people involved in protests over Floyd’s death over the past few months.
After the rally, the protesters marched around downtown Minneapolis, chanting, “Black power!” and “Native lives and trans lives, they matter here!”
Chauvin left Oak Park Heights prison Wednesday after posting bail on a $1 million bond. In anticipation of unrest, Gov. Tim Walz activated the Minnesota National Guard and mobilized 100 State Patrol troopers and 75 Department of Natural Resources (DNR) officers to help local law enforcement.
Chauvin, who has been fired, was initially booked into the Ramsey County jail after being charged and then moved to the state prison. He is charged with second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
On Wednesday evening, about 300 people marched from the site where Floyd died a few blocks north and then back. Some of the marchers made their way to the Fifth Precinct, where many of the 51 arrests took place.
Minneapolis police spokesman John Elder said 49 of the arrests were for misdemeanor offenses. The Hennepin County jail log showed many were cited for unlawful assembly. One person was arrested for fourth-degree assault and one other on a felony warrant.
The state Department of Public Safety said 24 of the overall arrests were made by the State Patrol and another 10 by DNR officers.