Today the City of Bloomington released criminal complaints charging 10 organizers of the Black Lives Matter protest at Mall of America December 20.
The organizers were charged with between three and seven misdemeanors, depending on their role in the demonstration. Each misdemeanor carries a maximum of 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.
Previously Bloomington City Attorney Sandra Johnson said she plans to attempt to get the protest organizers to pay for police overtime and extra mall security brought in to control the demonstration, which brought an estimated 3,000 people to the mall's rotunda on the Saturday before Christmas.
The charges state Bloomington spent more than $25,000 on police overtime and the mall spent more than $8,000 on extra security.
Here is a list of the organizers who were charged:
Michael McDowell, Mica Grimm, Kandace Montgomery, Catherine Salonek, Todd Dahlstrom, Adja Gildersleve, Shannon Bade, Jie Wronski-Riley, Amity Foster, and Nekima Levy-Pounds.
The misdemeanors included trespassing, public nuisance, disorderly conduct, and unlawful assembly.
Several of the organizers we contacted this morning refused to comment until they spoke with their lawyers.
Police used social media, pictures taken at the protest, accounts from plain clothes officers who attended pre-protest planning sessions, and email exchanges between the mall, city, and organizers to develop probable cause.
The criminal complaint, which describes each of the 10 organizers' roles in the protest, gives the first detailed account of how police saw the demonstration:
"Officers observed that many MOA guests were very frustrated by their inability to through the rotunda and hallways to their destinations. Officers observed many families with children who appeared visibly frightened and upset by the protestors...the intensity of the protestors' words and conduct were described as frantic and uncontrolled."
According to the charges, two officers were spit on during the protest. A court date for the organizers has not been set yet.
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