Summit Avenue open again after police ask Castile protesters to move


Protesters who have been camped out in front of the Governor's Residence since the death of Philando Castile were asked to leave Monday morning – and Summit Avenue re-opened.

The St. Paul Police Department said they told protesters they would "no longer be able to occupy Summit Avenue because they had created an ongoing public nuisance."

The street has been closed for the past 11 days in order to ensure the safety of protesters, who have been told they can stay to protest – provided they do it on the sidewalk and don't block vehicles or pedestrians.

"In response, protesters voluntarily packed up their personal belongings and removed them from the area," police said.

The residence has been the focal point for protesters expressing their feelings regarding Castile's shooting, and are among those calling for changes to the way black people are treated by police in America.

The 32-year-old died after being shot by a St. Anthony Police officer during a traffic stop earlier this month. The death is being investigated by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.

Police step up security after killings

Police in the Twin Cities are on alert following the killings of officers in Louisiana and Texas, which came after two officer-involved shootings sparked nationwide protests.

Three officers were killed in Baton Rouge after being targeted by a lone gunman on Sunday, 11 days after the police shooting of Alton Sterling was caught on camera.

That follows the killing of five police officers in Dallas during a protest over the killing of Sterling and St. Paul's Castile.

The Pioneer Press reports that Minneapolis police chief Janeé Harteau has ordered officers to pair up during their patrol shifts in the wake of the Baton Rouge killings, steps that departments in St. Anthony and Maplewood have already taken.

Each squad car will have two officers, the newspaper reports, with officers being told to be extra cautious in case someone is targeting officers.

"We basically have a target on our back," a spokesperson told the newspaper.

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