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Judge Rules Mall of America Can't Silence Black Lives Matter Protesters

Decision states mall can ban three specifically-named individuals from a Wednesday demonstration but can not force the group to post social media messages canceling the mobilization

Mall of America police at last year's Black Lives Matter demonstration. (Photo: Getty)

Mall of America police at last year's Black Lives Matter demonstration. (Photo: Getty)

A Hennepin County judge on Tuesday afternoon struck a blow against an effort by the Mall of America to block a Black Lives Matter-Minneapolis protest slated to take place at the iconic shopping center on Wednesday.

The court ruled that the mall can legally ban three people who it claims are Black Lives Matter protest leaders from the demonstration—but can not force the organization to post social media messages canceling the mobilization. The judge also rejected a temporary restraining order against the racial justice organization.

The Minneapolis chapter of Black Lives Matter posted an immediate response on Twitter.

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Wednesday's demonstration will demand justice for Jamar Clark, a 24-year-old African-American killed by police in November while he was unarmed.

The mall was widely criticized for its attempt to quell the demonstration by limiting free speech, with its latest lawsuit derided as outrageous and totalitarian.

But the mall's offensive against organizers—aided by police and even the FBI—dates back at least a year.

At a Black Lives Matter protest at the mall last December, protesters were met with an aggressive response by police and then heavily prosecuted by the Bloomington attorney. It was also revealed that, ahead of the mobilization, they were spied on by the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force.

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