Black Lives Matter rally shuts down Mall of America
© Getty Images

The Mall of America on Wednesday reportedly locked down its east rotunda after Black Lives Matter protesters disrupted shopping.

Several-hundred activists entered the Minneapolis shopping center despite the threat of arrest, according to The Minneapolis Star Tribune.

ADVERTISEMENT

“This demonstration is not authorized and is in clear violation of Mall of America policies,” a statement on the east rotunda’s central video screen read. “All participants must leave Mall of America property immediately. Those who fail to leave the property immediately will be subject to arrest.”

Waves of demonstrators occupied the popular shopping area around 1:30 p.m. despite the warning, the newspaper reported.

Mall of America officials asked retailers to shutter their businesses for two hours as a precaution, starting around 12:45 p.m.

More than 700 participants indicated on Black Lives Matter Minneapolis’s Facebook account that they were joining in the rally. Protesters were decrying the death of Jamar Clark, 24, an African-American who died while in police custody last month.

Activists say police shot Clark while he was handcuffed, a charge that Minneapolis law enforcement officials strongly dispute.

Minneapolis City Councilwoman Alondra Cano joined protesters Wednesday. Demonstrators also blocked roads at Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport, tangling traffic around the travel hub.

Wednesday’s protest is the second Black Lives Matter protest at the Mall of America following a similar incident last year. A separate protest took place the weekend before Christmas 2014. About 17 individuals were charged with trespassing after that demonstration.