Protesters, law enforcement face off in south Minneapolis

©Star Tribune (Minneapolis)

Protesters blocked in the intersection of Lake Street and Chicago Avenue in Minneapolis on Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020. - Carlos Gonzalez/Minneapolis Star Tribune/TNS

MINNEAPOLIS — Protesters and law enforcement personnel faced off late Wednesday in south Minneapolis after an earlier march to protest the release from prison of Derek Chauvin, the Minneapolis police officer charged with second-degree murder in George Floyd’s May 25 death.

Chauvin left Oak Park Heights prison Wednesday after posting $1 million bond. In response, Gov. Tim Walz activated the Minnesota National Guard and mobilized 100 state troopers and 75 Department of Natural Resources officers to help local law enforcement in case of trouble.

Wednesday evening, about 300 people marched peacefully from the site where Floyd died a few blocks north and back. After making their way north a few blocks, marchers paused to chant, “No justice, no peace!”

They then made their way back down Portland Avenue toward E. 38th Street and Chicago Avenue, site of the Floyd memorial, while motorists and bystanders honked and raised their fists in solidarity.

“Black lives matter!” a young boy shouted from the window of a building on Portland.

Gabriel Black Elk, whose brother, Paul Castaway, was killed by police in Denver in July 2015, said he came to show his support for Floyd’s family. He believes Chauvin should not have been released.

“I’m out here as a family member too to show support and say today shouldn’t have happened. He should have stayed in there,” said Black Elk, an organizer for Native Lives Matter. “It’s tiring for us justice families to see these cops getting away with murder. It’s just too much. It’s too much to see it happen again and again.”

Late Wednesday, about two dozen protesters were arrested near the 5th Precinct police headquarters by officers from the DNR and State Patrol, according to the Unicorn Riot live online news feed. Unicorn Riot’s feed showed several people being ordered to get down on the ground in preparation for arrest on suspicion of illegal assembly.

The National Lawyers Guild was on the scene offering legal support for the protesters, and at least two of their members were arrested, Unicorn Riot reported.

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(Minneapolis Star Tribune staff writer Pamela Miller contributed to this report.)

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©2020 Star Tribune (Minneapolis)