Black Lives Matter will not block marathon runners, both sides say


The organizer of the planned Black Lives Matter demonstration at the Twin Cities Marathon says his group will not block runners from finishing the race.

After a meeting Thursday, Rashad Turner of Black Lives Matter St. Paul and the city's Mayor Chris Coleman said the group agreed to "demonstrate [at], not interrupt," the race Sunday,

" target="_blank">MPR's Tim Nelson reports.

Demonstrators will be given a space near the finish line where they can protest peacefully, according to reports, including from Nicole Norfleet with the Star Tribune.

After meeting with Coleman, Turner said that his group had "accomplished what we set out to do" by having "our voices heard," according to FOX 9's Karen Scullin.

Coleman had warned on Wednesday that protesters face arrest if they block any part of the race route.

Some 30,000 runners are expected to participate in the events this weekend, according to the marathon website, in addition to the thousands of supporters who will line the course to cheer them on.

BLack Lives Matter St. Paul is protesting against police brutality, including recent instances in St. Paul such as the case of Tyree Tucker, who protesters claims received a "beating" from a city police officer.

Turner has also cited the recent death of Phillip Quinn, who was fatally shot by St. Paul officers last Thursday.

News of the protest had generated a widespread reaction, particularly from those running in the marathon, who argued disruption would spoil the yearlong preparation for the race, as well as pointing out that it has a diverse range of participants, many of whom are running for charity.

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