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Minnesota Anti-Police Protesters Block Light Rail Before Vikings Game

September 21, 2015  | 

Roughly 100 Black Lives Matter activists assembled in St. Paul, Minn., Sunday to protest what they said was excessive force by the transit police on a 17-year-old with autism.

At about 10:15, protesters began to march west on the light rail tracks after a rally in the middle of the intersection of Lexington and University. The group staged a die-in on the tracks of the Green Line train that serves TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, where the Vikings hosted Detroit in a home opener. 

On Sunday morning, Metro Transit announced that buses are replacing Green Line trains between the Snelling Avenue and Capitol/Rice Street stations. Staff will be on hand to direct riders. The Green Line serves TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, where the Vikings hosted Detroit in their season home opener.

The Star Tribune reports the group acknowledged that it chose Sunday to protest because it’s the Vikings’ home opener — a “big money day, so what better day to shut the light rail down and disrupt business as usual,” it said.

The group was protesting what they say was excessive force by Metro Transit police who confronted and restrained Marcus Abrams, a 17-year-old autistic boy, at the Lexington Parkway station on Aug. 31.

During the incident, Abrams was spotted standing on the rail tracks. When transit officers approached him, they say he resisted arrest, kicking and punching, and they forced him to the ground.

Abrams sustained a cut and swollen lip and cuts on his face and head, his mother said after the incident. “They totally mishandled the situation,” she said. Caldwell said her son didn’t hear officers’ orders when they approached him because he was wearing headphones.

Black Lives Matter St. Paul, an offshoot of the larger Minneapolis chapter, first gained attention after holding a protest at the State Fair over what it deemed organizers’ unfair treatment of minority vendors. Organizers later found themselves on the defensive after a video surfaced of marchers chanting a phrase that police said promoted violence against officers.

Comments (5)

Displaying 1 - 5 of 5

Federali @ 9/21/2015 4:01 PM

Okay, first off, wearing headphones while walking/standing near railroad tracks is stupid! Leave that person alone and let Darwinism do its job. Second, protesters blocking rails, streets, freeways should not be cause to stop trains or traffic (see Darwinism rule above). Third, a question: when is “Black Lives Matter” going to be declared a terrorist group? Or a gang at the very least!?!

kevCopAz @ 9/21/2015 6:46 PM

So he was standing on the tracks with head phones on, I would say perhaps the police saved his life since he would not have head a train coming! Further if he couldn't hear the cops is he blind too or what? Im sure they were in uniform and he should have seen that! If he were non hearing and non seeing and autistic, then perhaps mom should be charged with neglect for allowing him to get on to the tracks! This is the same Mom that would sue them if he had been hit by a train and said that they should have prevented that. What a load of crap.

John retired IA PD @ 9/22/2015 10:37 AM

Those 100 protesters should be working with those with autism rather than committing a criminal act by disrupting train service. It does sound like the police saved his life. Perhaps the "Black Lives Matter" gang will say and do enough stupid things, that all people will see the group for what it is and put an end to this nonsense. But, of course there will always be those with a personal agenda that will keep the group alive.

S.S. @ 9/22/2015 1:06 PM

This b.l.m. needs to go back where ever they came from. These animals pose a threat to everyone, themselves included. All these p.o.s. want is a free pay day cause they're gonna sue whoever they come into contact with, and they're too damn lazy to work, and earn a decent living. What's ironic is this the government pays for all their welfare, and shit like that and that's not enough? Really? They want more for doing abosolutely nothing. These are the assholes that are killing each other in record numbers , but it's the police's fault for not doing anything. The second we do then they go and file a complaint. I say screw you. Do it yourselves!!!

Kojack58 @ 9/23/2015 9:01 AM

The BLM has members that can do things peacefully. but then you got the idiots mixed in that causes the problem. You have to sort through the good the bad and the ugly. they all need to be peaceful and that unfortunately will not happen because of the few..

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