Protesters gather in Uptown, block off Lake Street in wake of woman’s death

Demonstrators once again blocked off Lake Street to hold a rally Monday night in Uptown after a driver struck and killed a woman who was protesting there the night before.

Over the past week and a half, protesters have blocked off streets in the area and held vigils, rallies and marches to demand justice for Winston Smith, a Black man who was shot and killed by members of a federal fugitive task force on June 3. But people were paying tribute to a new person on Monday — 31-year-old Deona Knajdek, who witnesses say was in a car blocking off the intersection when another car sped down the street and hit her.

Knajdek died from her injuries. At least two others arrived at hospitals with injuries related to the crash.

Police said the driver was taken into custody and that alcohol or drugs might have been involved.

Late Monday night, several dozen people remained in the area of Lake Street and Girard Avenue South, where a vigil and march was held for Knajdek earlier in the day. Where parked vehicles had blocked off Lake Street at Hennepin Avenue in days prior, a makeshift barricade of fencing, road signs and wooden pallets now stood, evoking the "autonomous zone" at George Floyd Square a few miles away.