42 People Arrested in Protests that Closed I-94

November 15, 2017 10:21 AM

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety has updated the number of people who were arrested Monday after protests spilled onto Interstate 94.

The numbers released Tuesday morning say 42 people were arrested, including eight children. The State Patrol originally said 51 people were arrested including eight children.

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The protesters were arrested on suspicion of unlawful assembly and being a pedestrian on a freeway, which are both are misdemeanors.

Protesters caused I-94 westbound to close between Plymouth and Broadway avenues in Minneapolis Monday night in response to an officer-involved shooting that occurred early Sunday morning.

Protesters were on foot on the main line of the freeway, marching east on westbound I-94. They were initially moving from Dowling Avenue North to Broadway Avenue West along I-94.

The Minnesota State Patrol was called to the scene to work at redirecting traffic. In all, 24 agencies from four counties were called in to respond. Those arrested were taken to jail in Metro Transit buses; the adults were transported to the Hennepin County Detention Center, and the minors were transported to the Hennepin County Juvenile Detention Center.

Lt. Tiffani Schweigart with the Minnesota State Patrol said her department received notification at roughly 6:45 p.m. of 200-300 protesters entering the freeway from Broadway Avenue West in Minneapolis.

Schweigart said the protesters illegally entered the freeway and that it was a “very dangerous situation.”

“They put themselves and the motoring public in danger,” she added.

Schweigart said those who were arrested were cooperative and were taken into custody without incident. Some of the protesters are now out of jail.

One state trooper was assaulted during the incident but was not significantly injured, Schweigart said. She added that several patrol cars were damaged by bottles and rocks during the incident.

KSTP’s Lindsey Brown spoke with Susan Farr, a resident of Otsego, on the phone Monday night. Farr works in Minneapolis and was on her way home as the protesters made their way to I-94. She said she was one of the last cars police allowed to enter the interstate.

By 8:15 p.m., Farr said she had been stuck in traffic for roughly an hour.

"I’m aggravated," she said. "I think all life matters. I just don’t think that they should be shutting five lanes of freeway. I want to go home to my family. I am very aggravated. It’s just pointless to me."

Several law enforcement agencies assisted at the scene, including the Anoka County and Hennepin County sheriff’s departments, the Minneapolis Police Department, the St. Paul Police Department, the Crystal Police Department, the Brooklyn Park Police Department and the Brooklyn Center Police Department.

Protests first started about 3 p.m. Sunday and continued Monday in front of the Minneapolis Police Department's 4th Precinct, 1925 Plymouth Avenue N. Members of Black Lives Matter Minneapolis, Minneapolis NAACP and Community United Against Police Brutality were among those demonstrating.

View Chopper 5 footage of the protests here.

Credits

Rebecca Omastiak

Copyright 2018 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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