Charges against organizers of Black Lives Matter protest at MOA dismissed


All charges against the organizers of the Black Lives Matter protest at Mall of America last December have been dropped, but some demonstrators still face charges.

In the 137-page ruling, Hennepin County Chief Judge Peter Cahill dismissed charges against the 11 leaders/organizers of the Dec. 20, 2014, protest, dubbed the MOA 11. They faced misdemeanor charges of aiding and abetting trespass, aiding and abetting unlawful assembly, and aiding and abetting disorderly conduct, the Star Tribune notes.

However, Cahill did not dismiss trespassing and obstruction charges against a number of other protesters who were arrested at the mall, ordering those cases to proceed to trial, FOX 9 says.

The protest, held in response to controversial decisions not to indict police officers who killed Michael Johnson in Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner in New York, attracted more than 2,000 people and caused part of the mall to shut down on one of the busiest shopping days of the holiday season.

Although Black Lives Matter supporters say they will still fight to get the remaining charges dropped, many are cheering this news, including Nekima Levy-Pouds, the president of the Minneapolis chapter of the NAACP and one of the 11 leaders who was charged in connection with the protest.

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