A prominent BLM activist who staged a protest outside of a Minnesota judge’s home last year was arrested again this week.
According to the Summit County Sheriff’s Office in Akron, Ohio, Cortez Rice was detained for rioting, disorderly conduct, and failure to disperse during a protest for Jayland Walker, a black man shot and killed by Akron police following a vehicle and foot pursuit.
Rice was booked into the Summit County Jail just after 1 a.m. on June 7 and captured his own arrest on live video.
Rice gained media attention in 2020 when he claimed to be the nephew of George Floyd, though they were only close friends. Relatives of other police shooting victims were arrested during the Jayland Walker protest, including Jacob Blake’s dad, Jacob Blake Sr., and Breonna Taylor’s aunt, Bianca Austin.
The Summit County Sheriff’s Office said Rice is currently out on bond.
In December, Rice was charged with felony harassment after leading a protest outside what he believed to be the residence of Hennepin County Judge Regina Chu, the presiding judge in the Kim Potter trial.
The protest was in response to Judge Chu’s decision to ban cameras in the courtroom during the Potter trial; that decision was ultimately reversed.
“We at the judge house … on her ass, we on her heels,” Rice said during a livestream of the protest in November. “Waiting for the gang to get up here.”
“Judge R.C. noted that she believed she was the target of the Defendant and the other protesters. She further stated that it was her belief the intention was to intimidate her and to interfere with the judicial process,” states the criminal complaint filed against Rice.
These charges were later dropped by Senior Judge William H. Leary. According to Leary, the state needed to allege and prove that Chu was placed in reasonable fear of substantial bodily harm or emotional distress as a result of Rice’s actions.
“The state concedes that the complaint does not allege such harm,” Leary wrote in his February order. “For that reason, the complaint must be dismissed without prejudice.”
A few days prior, Rice lost his 15-year-old son Jahmari in a shooting at the South Education Center in Richfield.