After taking to the Mall of America and the Minnesota State Fair, the Black Lives Matter movement has set its sights on another big-money target — the Vikings’ home opener.
In response to the alleged beating of Marcus Abrams by Metro Transit police officers, the St. Paul chapter plans to shut down the Green Line as thousands of fans head to TCF Bank Stadium on Sunday.
“Chief of Metro Transit Police John Harrington was recently heard praising his department for being inclusive and welcoming to the community, but it’s obvious that John meant inclusive and welcoming to all except for people of color and children with special needs,” the group wrote in a Facebook announcement.
Black Lives Matter St. Paul is calling for the officers involved in the August 31 incident to be fired. As City Pages previously reported, Abrams’ sister Jacqueline Vaughn says her brother was leaving the State Fair when he was assaulted by police. “He was beaten so bad he was in a seizure and declared dead for 15 minutes,” she said at a protest earlier this month.
Metro Transit spokesman Howie Padilla says an internal investigation is ongoing.
As for Sunday, Padilla wouldn't dish on contingency plans, lest the Green Line grind to a halt. However, he says they'll do everything they can to continue service and ensure public safety.
“For better or worse, we’re fortunate in the fact that this is not the first time that we’ve worked with rallies of this nature," Padilla says. "They’ve been handled peacefully in the past and we totally expect that to be the case again this Sunday, if in fact a rally takes place. We absolutely understand and respect the fact that it’s important for people to give voice to their viewpoint."
Black Lives Matter supporters plan to meet at 9:30 a.m., hours before kickoff, near University Avenue and Lexington Parkway in St. Paul where Abrams was allegedly beaten.
“Enough is enough of business as usual!” the group writes. “We must bring an end to white supremacy and the status quo.”
Organizer Rashad Turner did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE September 16th, 2015Re: #BlackRail: Lights out for the light railSunday September 20th, 2015...