As closing arguments were underway in the murder trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin on Monday, students across Minnesota participated in a statewide walkout to protest racial injustice.
According to The New York Times, shortly before 2 p.m. on Monday, students held a moment of silence for Daunte Wright, the 20-year-old Black man who was fatally shot by police in Brooklyn Center, Minn., last week.
Brooklyn Center is located approximately 10 miles from the courthouse where Chauvin is on trial for the murder of George Floyd.
The protest was organized by Minnesota Teen Activists, a group that was launched following racial incidents in schools and the killing of Floyd, according to the Times.
Gabby Hou, a founder of the group and a sophomore at a Minnesota high school, said that students from at least 118 schools took part in the walkout on Monday, according to the Times.
According to The Minneapolis Star Tribune, approximately 300 students, mainly high schoolers, gathered near U.S. Bank Stadium in downtown Minneapolis, where they chanted "You can't stop the revolution," and "We are the students, the mighty, mighty students,” as snow fell to the ground.
Hundreds of students gathered at a number of other high schools, chanting “This is what community looks like!” and “When you see injustice, stand up,” among other mantras, the Times reported.
One woman, according to the Times, was captured on video shouting “When you see injustice speak out,” referring to the recent killings of 13-year-old Adam Toledo in Chicago, and 17-year-old Anthony J. Thompson, who was fatally struck in an officer-involved shooting at a school in Knoxville, Tenn.
Minneapolis Public Schools, in a statement on their website, said they would not discipline students for protesting as long as the demonstrations remained peaceful, but noted that according to school policy, students who walk out of school will not be permitted to return for the remainder of the day.
The walkout protest comes amid a series of officer-involved shootings across the country.
On April 11, Wright was fatally shot by a police officer. The local police chief, who later resigned, said that the officer meant to draw her Taser, but mistakenly pulled her gun.
On March 29, Toledo was shot and killed by a police officer in Chicago.