St. Paul mayor says protesters will not shut down Crashed Ice


Mayor Chris Coleman promised Wednesday that St. Paul's plans to host the Red Bull Crashed Ice world championship this month will not be disrupted by protesters aligned with the group Black Lives Matter.

"This event will go on as planned," Coleman said in a statement.

Last week the St. Paul chapter of Black Lives Matter announced plans for a Feb. 27 peaceful protest to shut down the skating competition, which typically draws more than 100,000 people during its two-day run in front of the St. Paul Cathedral.

Black Lives Matter has issued a list of demands, topped by the firing of St. Paul Police Sgt. Jeffrey Rothecker, who posted a Facebook comment last month encouraging drivers to run over the group's protesters and offering advice on how to do so without getting arrested. Rothecker has admitted writing the comment and apologized for it.

'Just like State Fair, Marathon'

St. Paul's Black Lives Matter chapter demonstrated at both the Minnesota State Fair and the Twin Cities Marathon last year. The group initially said it would shut down the Marathon but after a City Hall meeting with Mayor Coleman, leaders changed tactics and held a rally that did not disrupt the race.


Coleman referenced those protests Wednesday, saying: "Just like the Minnesota State Fair and the Twin Cities Marathon, this event will go on as planned. Our law enforcement in Saint Paul is expert at protecting both demonstrators’ First Amendment rights and the public ."

Rothecker's employment

As for the demand that Rothecker be fired, Coleman said “I understand and share the outrage and disgust at the allegations of the officer-involved threat made on social media." But he noted that both federal and state employment laws forbid an immediate dismissal.

A complaint about Sgt. Rothecker was filed with St. Paul's police-civilian review board and is being investigated. The board's recommendation will be sent to Police Chief Thomas Smith, who will decide what disciplinary action, if any, is warranted. Rothecker will then have a period of time to appeal the decision. Coleman says the entire process could take up to a year, during which he is forbidden by law from discussing the case.

Crashed Ice

The sport is officially known as ice cross but Red Bull sponsors a professional tour it calls Crashed Ice. It's said to have been born when a couple of Scandinavian daredevils tried skating down a luge run.

Organizers say the course in front of the Cathedral takes skaters on a 12 story drop over its 500 meter length.

Last winter 140,000 spectators attended the two-day event. Coleman noted the expectation that crowds will be even larger this year when, for the first time, St. Paul is hosting the world championship.

You can get a taste of the competition here. Mayor Coleman himself typically takes a stab at skating the course.

Next Up

Anthony Edwards

Ant's rally not enough to save Timberwolves

Edwards' third-quarter explosion came too late in a loss to the Pelicans.

Rent, mortgage, house, key, door

Victims of property manager's sexual harassment to get $736,000

It's part of a consent decree announced by the Department of Justice Monday.

The Liffey Pub Facebook

St. Paul's Irish pub The Liffey reveals it won't reopen

The beloved pub has been closed since the start of the pandemic.

Proctor football

Proctor football investigation: Case goes to county attorney

The office will review the evidence and consider possible criminal charges.

kirsten mitchell screegrab

'I’m heading home!': CA reporter announces return to WCCO

Kirsten Mitchell interned at WCCO years ago. Now, she's coming back as a reporter.


As part of price gouging settlement, farm to donate 1M eggs to food nonprofits

The egg producer will donate more than 1 million eggs to nonprofits fighting hunger.

plane, Piper PA-32

Sheriff: Witnesses saw plane 'performing aerial maneuvers' before fatal crash

The single-engine aircraft went down in northern Wisconsin, killing a brother and sister.

Screen Shot 2021-10-25 at 8.51.02 AM

Community rallies around Minnetonka HS dancer battling brain tumor

A fundraiser raised more than $44,000 of its $60,000 goal in the first two days.

twin city gardens

In rare move, MDH takes control of Minneapolis nursing home

The temporary receivership is to ensure resident safety.

Sen Mark Koran crop

Lawmaker deletes post encouraging donations to family charged in Capitol riot

Sen. Mark Koran, in his Facebook post, described them as "a good family!"