Police reopen street outside Minn. governor’s mansion

Published 10:10 am Tuesday, July 19, 2016

ST. PAUL — Police in St. Paul on Monday reopened the avenue in front of the Minnesota governor’s mansion that had been shut down by protesters since shortly after a suburban officer shot and killed a black man during a traffic stop nearly two weeks ago.

Officers informed protesters at 6 a.m. that they would no longer be allowed to occupy Summit Avenue “because they had created an ongoing public nuisance,” police spokesman Steve Linders said. Protesters voluntarily packed up and removed their personal belongings, he said, adding that everything was peaceful and nobody was arrested or cited.

“The protesters were told they were welcome to continue their protest on the sidewalk as long as it did not impede vehicle and pedestrian passage or involve structures or other obstructions,” Linders said.

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Black Lives Matter protesters had been assembled outside the mansion where Gov. Mark Dayton lives since a few hours after 32-year-old Philando Castile was fatally shot July 6 by a St. Anthony Police Department officer in Falcon Heights. Castile’s girlfriend streamed the aftermath live on Facebook.

Dayton has suggested that race played a role in Castile’s death. The Democrat, who attended the school cafeteria worker’s funeral Thursday, had said protesters were welcome to stay outside his residence as long as they wanted.