A home state event for Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota was canceled Sunday after a Black Lives Matter protest disrupted the event.
The rally had been scheduled to take place at St. Louis Park High School in St. Louis Park, Minnesota, a Minneapolis suburb.
Instead, demonstrators took over the rally in protest of a 2002 case that Klobuchar prosecuted while she was Hennepin County attorney. In that case, Myon Burrell, then 16, was convicted of the murder of Tyesha Edwards, then 11. Edwards had been doing homework when killed by a stray bullet. Burrell is currently serving a life sentence.
A recent Associated Press investigation raised doubts about the case, and it has become a rallying point for black critics of Klobuchar.
“Amy Klobuchar has the power and the influence — if she wanted to actually help us to free him she could, and she doesn’t want to,” Leslie Redmond, president of the Minneapolis NAACP, said, according to USA Today.
“This is a tale of two cities. There’s a real distinction between how we see Amy Klobuchar, and it’s because she keeps hiding behind her progressive background or values, but she’s actually not as progressive as she comes across.”
Protestors entered the @amyklobuchar rally at St. Louis Park HS. The group is here in support of Myon Burrell, convicted of killing a teenager several years ago, for which he maintains his innocence. Sen. Klobuchar was the county attorney during Burrell’s first trial. @WCCO pic.twitter.com/K45aGsr5Sq
— Jeff Wagner (@Jeff_Wagner4) March 2, 2020
Black Lives Matter protestors have overtaken the stage at this @amyklobuchar rally in St. Louis Park, MN. They’re chanting “hey hey, ho ho, Klobuchar has got to go” as the Hamilton soundtrack plays in the background. The event is set to begin at 8 p.m. pic.twitter.com/bUnClVLvfY
— Brianne Pfannenstiel (@brianneDMR) March 2, 2020
Protesters force Amy Klobuchar to cancel rally in St. Louis Park https://t.co/3c4s88xiRk
— Torey Van Oot (@toreyvanoot) March 2, 2020
On Sunday, protesters took to the stage and chanted “Free Myon,” amid crowd chants of “Black Lives Matter.”
Despite efforts of the campaign to get the protesters to move, they refused. Mutual recriminations followed.
“We had a negotiation and had an agreement with the organizers of the protest to meet with the senator on site. She was in the room ready to meet with them and then they changed the terms and decided that they didn’t want to meet with her,” Justin Buoen, Klobuchar’s campaign manager, said, according to NBC News.
“I really wish that we would have been able to one, do the meeting, and listen to the protesters, but also have the event,” he said.
Buoen claimed the protest was not indicative of black support for Klobuchar.
“I don’t know that one event is emblematic of anything,” he said. “I’m disappointed, and hopefully we’re able to do a meeting in the future.”
In the wake of the AP investigation, Klobuchar has said if there is new information, the case should be reopened.
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