The hugely popular Red Bull Crashed Ice event in St. Paul could be the scene of the latest Black Lives Matter demonstration.
Black Lives Matter St. Paul announced on Facebook it plans to protest the downhill skating spectacle, which over the past four years has attracted big crowds to downtown St. Paul, at 5.30 p.m. on Feb. 27.
The protest group – a different entity to the BLM Minneapolis group which held high-profile demonstrations at the Mall of America, Minneapolis-St. Paul airport and the 4th Police Precinct– is calling for St. Paul Police Officer Jeff Rothecker to be fired.
What impact the protest has on the event remains to be seen, but at the moment the #BlackIce protest only has 30 people confirmed as going, whereas last year Crashed Ice attracted an estimated 140,000 people.
Rothecker hit the headlines last month after it emerged he was responsible for a Facebook post in which he encouraged people to hit BLM protesters with their cars, and gave them tips on how to get away with it afterward.
The group has made a list of demands, which includes Rothecker be fired without a pension, police re-investigate every case of his that led to a conviction, and that the county attorney investigate him for a possible crime.
"We are not surprised that Jeffrey Rothecker is still on paid administrative leave, but we find it detestable that he still holds the title of St. Paul Police Officer and continues to represent this institution," the group said in its press release.
According to the Pioneer Press, St. Paul police had not been made aware of any planned action, but said the department "has a solid track record of being respectful of protests while ensuring that events go on as planned."
It will be the fifth year in a row that St. Paul hosts Crashed Ice, which sees competitors race down a challenging course starting from the St. Paul Cathedral, KARE 11 notes. The event will be held on Feb. 26 and 27.