Black Lives Matter used decoy protest to overwhelm Minneapolis airport


The famed Minnesota mall tried but failed to get a court order to bar the protesters from the sprawling shopping center - a move activists said only steeled their resolve to disrupt shopping two days before Christmas. Once protesters were told they were required to leave, police acted to clear the mall in compliance with the law.

The reports released Thursday say eight were arrested on charges ranging from unlawful assembly and disorderly conduct to obstructing police during a Black Lives Matter demonstration Wednesday.

A similar demonstration last December drew hundreds of demonstrators angry over the absence of charges following the police killings of unarmed black men in New York City and Ferguson, Missouri. Dayton says protesters' call for the release of video footage of the Clark altercation has to wait, so it doesn't jeopardize the integrity of the investigation that he says everyone wants. A siren announced that the mall was closed and instructed shoppers to "seek shelter", prompting many stores to close their gates. "Now!" Protesters peacefully went to a nearby light-rail train station that allowed quick access to the airport a few miles away.

Paul International Airport. "Significant traffic backups" were caused as a result of the protests, the airport said. "Now!" Police urged onlookers out of the mall's central rotunda, threatening arrest.

The activist group Black Lives Matter was planning demonstrations in six U.S cities on Wednesday, which it was calling "Black Xmas" and a national day of action.

Video posted on Twitter showed the demonstrators chanting "if we don t get no justice, then they don t get no peace", as snow fell on the road to the terminals.

The privately-owned mall filed the lawsuit in a bid to bar the protest, fearing it would cause huge loss of revenues at the holiday season. Some protesters took a light-rail train to the airport after the mall was closed by police.

There were no reported injuries and no reports of property damage during the demonstration, police said.

Bloomington Police Deputy Chief Denis Otterness confirmed officers would be at the mall, but declined to discuss their plans for handling the protest.

A judge banned three demonstration organizers from going to the mall, but said she couldn't bar other unnamed protesters from attending.

Black Lives Matter demonstrators camped outside a Minneapolis police station for almost three weeks after a police officer shot Jamar Clark, 24, on November 15. The judge did say three organizers were not allowed at the mall. That policy is in place to protect the safety of all Mall of America guests, employees and tenants.

Security staff searched visitors' bags at entrances and handed out cards letting visitors know the mall would be checking bags and other items as part of ongoing security procedures.