4 cited after 60 vehicles traveling 10 mph block traffic on I-94 as part of a protest

The State Patrol called the action 'dangerous.'
Author:
Publish date:

The drivers of four vehicles that were believed to be involved in a protest during rush hour on Interstate 94 between St. Paul and Minneapolis have been cited for impeding traffic, the Minnesota State Patrol says.

About 60 vehicles entered I-94 at Marion Street in St. Paul around 5:15 p.m. on Wednesday and traveled about 10 mph down the freeway, blocking all the westbound lanes of traffic, before exiting at Cedar Avenue in Minneapolis, Public Information Officer Lt. Gordon Shank said. 

Four vehicles were stopped and cited for impeding traffic and the State Patrol is working to identify other vehicles involved, Shank told BMTN on Friday. 

The vehicles were involved in a protest, Shank said, but did not say what they were protesting, noting it's an "open investigation."

Traffic cameras showed people sitting on top of cars waving American flags and flags from the Oromo Liberation Front, a political party by persecuted Oromo people in Ethiopia, the Star Tribune said

The Twin Cities has the largest population of Oromo people outside of Ethiopia, the Minnesota Reformer reported. This summer, many younger Oromo Minnesotans have been mobilized to protest Oromo oppression in Ethiopia following the assassination of Ethiopian singer Hachalu Hundessa and the police killing of George Floyd.

Sign up for our BREAKING NEWS newsletters

"The State Patrol respects the rights of citizens to exercise their constitutional rights in a safe manner," Shank said. "Blocking the freeway is dangerous any time of day. Vehicles are traveling at freeway speeds which can increase the chances of significant injuries if a crash occurs."

The minimum speed limit on freeways in Minnesota is 40 mph. State law prohibits motorists from going at speeds that impede or block the normal flow of traffic (that is unless conditions warrant slower speeds). Minnesota also has a "slowpoke" law that was passed last year, which could result in a fine if someone is driving in the left lane and doesn't move over for vehicles traveling faster on roads that have two or more lanes int he same direction. 

Next Up

Screen Shot 2021-05-06 at 6.12.41 PM

Ongoing hostage situation at Wells Fargo in St. Cloud

A number of bank employees are being held hostage.

Miguel Sano

Twins blow lead, drop to numbing 0-7 in extra innings

Byron Buxton left the game in the ninth inning with an apparent injury.

Minnesota State Fair

There will be no state-ordered restrictions for the State Fair this year

Fair organizers could still implement their own COVID safety restrictions.

Walz-May 6 - address

Walz: Prepare for a summer 'where just the simple pleasures will be back again'

But the governor made clear vaccinations are key to getting there more quickly.

moderna vaccine covid

Drug trial shows Moderna vaccine is 96% effective in teens

The drugmaker still needs federal authorization following more studies.

raku sushi

St. Louis Park restaurant owners accused in 'sophisticated' tax fraud scheme

They're accused of underpaying sales taxes by nearly $240,000.

uss minneapolis bell

Minneapolis Parks to get historic bell, wheel back from Minnetonka HS

The bell and wheel were stolen years ago and were discovered last year at Minnetonka High School.

Kellen Mond

Coller: Draft solidifies that 2021 holds answers to Vikings' future at QB

Matthew Coller writes a weekly Vikings column for BMTN, with more of his work found at Purple Insider.

Related

Screen Shot 2020-05-31 at 5.48.13 PM

Peaceful protesters moving onto Interstate 94 in Twin Cities

There are protests throughout the Twin Cities ahead of curfew Sunday night.

fireball

Fireball crash in Lowry Hill tunnel kills 2, closes I-94 west

Traffic cameras showed the shocking moment the car crashed and exploded into flames.

Screen Shot 2019-11-07 at 11.52.32 AM

Traffic running smoothly again after crashes backups on I-94

Insane delays because of the crashes near downtown.

State Patrol: Fatal 4-vehicle crash on I-94 in Woodbury

The crash happened on westbound I-94 at Radio Drive.

ambulance

Driver, 26, dies in crash on I-94 near the Minneapolis North Loop

The single-vehicle crash happened around 11:30 p.m.

Screen Shot 2019-02-26 at 2.06.07 PM

I-94 re-opens after crash in Lowry Hill Tunnel

The road re-opened shortly before 3 p.m.