Plans to protest the death of Philando Castile at the Rosedale Shopping Center Sunday did not come to fruition after organizers with Black Lives Matter St. Paul cancelled the protests. Posting to their Facebook Sunday morning the group claims their goal of affecting “‘business as usual’ for folks in the area where Philando was killed” was achieved after several shops at the mall closed their doors for the day.
Rashad Turner, leader of Black Lives Matter St. Paul and local House candidate, tells Alpha News that mall action was canceled “because the mall took steps to effectively shut itself down; We also wanted to be mindful of the officers who were killed and injured earlier today in Baton Rouge, Louisiana as we know tensions are high and safety is always of top concern.”
Roughly a dozen stores and restaurants inside the mall closed their doors in preparation of the protests. There was a heavy police presence during mall hours, with officers handing out “code of conduct” sheets at every mall entrance.
Several store managers (who are unable to give official comment on behalf of their brand) tell Alpha News that the revenue lost that day directly affected the pocketbooks of their employees. Many employees were either unable to work their usual amount of hours or earn their regular commission due to the stores closing and the severe lack of mall attendance that day as a result of the planned protests.
Turner calls on those upset by the lost revenue to join his cause, saying, “To the store owners who lost revenue, please join us in calling for the termination of the police contract between the City of Falcon Heights and St. Anthony Police department.”
Protests have been taking place around the Twin Cities since the death of Castile early July. Castile was shot by police after a traffic stop in Falcon Heights and later died. Several protesters have remained camped outside of Governor Dayton’s mansion since the shooting and still remain there.
Turner says more protests will likely happen Monday evening.