News & Politics

'Peaceful Protest' in St. Paul Becomes Violent

St. Paul, Minn., police arrested more than 100 demonstrators who were blocking I-94, the major expressway through the Twin Cities. The mob began to throw rocks, firecrackers, and other debris at the officers when they moved in to clear the road.

Twenty-one police officers were injured.

The Hill:

At around 10 p.m., police ordered protesters to leave the interstate for the 16th time, but the demonstrators refused, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.

Police in riot gear responded with smoke bombs, tear gas and pepper spray to disperse the crowd and eventually began making arrests.

Protesters threw “rocks, bottles, fireworks and bricks” at officers, police spokesman Steve Linders said, adding that the injuries were not considered serious.

Mayor Chris Coleman called the violence “shameful,” saying it doesn’t honor anyone’s memory … including Philando Castile’s.”

Castile, a school cafeteria worker, was shot and killed by a police officer in Falcon Heights, Minn., on Wednesday. The aftermath was live streamed on Facebook by his girlfriend.

In Baton Rouge, prominent Black Lives Matter activist DeRay McKesson was arrested. He was released this morning after spending the night in jail.

McKesson says that police were “provoking” the violence:

“The police in Baton Rouge have been truly awful tonight,” Mckesson said on the video, while walking along Airline Highway. “They have provoked people, they chase people just for kicks. The police have been violent tonight. The protesters have not.”

In the video, which was posted online, someone can be heard shouting, “This is the police, you’re under arrest! Don’t fight me! Don’t fight me!”

Mckesson responds: “I’m under arrest, y’all!” The camera is then knocked to the ground.

After being released, Mckesson said he remains disappointed with Baton Rouge police, who he says were provoking peaceful protesters.

Mckesson, who said he was charged with obstruction of a roadway, added that he remains hopeful that the Justice Department intervenes both in the death of Alton Sterling and the way the police treat protesters.

McKesson is an idiot. It’s illegal to block a roadway. It’s illegal to resist arrest. It’s illegal to disobey the lawful order of a law enforcement officer. And the cops are at fault? Sheesh.

It took St. Paul authorities a couple of hours to clear the road of debris that was dropped on officers. That doesn’t sound like a “peaceful” demonstration to me. The cops in both cities showed admirable restraint in most cases, making the caterwauling of McKesson and other activists meaningless blather.