All eyes on the MOA
"Restraining order or not, on the day before Christmas Eve, protesters will assemble at the Mall of America; there will be cameras; and millions will be watching," Black Lives Matter Minneapolis wrote in a Facebook post Tuesday evening. "What happens next will tell us volumes about who we are as a society."
MOA beefs up security ahead of planned protests
Signs of tighter security are present already this morning at the Mall of America as mall executives prepare for an expected demonstration this afternoon by the group Black Lives Matter Minneapolis.
MPR reporters say people walking into the mall are having their bags searched.
Gov. Mark Dayton this morning said 30 State Patrol troopers will provide backup to local police and security at the mall today.
He also said he's meeting next week with NAACP and Black Lives Matter representatives to talk about racial economic disparities in Minnesota.
-- Paul Tosto, MPR News
Is the mall public or private?
In 1999, the Minnesota Supreme Court decided the case of State v. Wicklund, in which protesters wanted to demonstrate against fur sales, arguing that the Mall of America is essentially Main Street. The court decided that the Mall of America is a private entity and has the right to exclude.
First Amendment attorney Steve Aggergaard told MPR News that a few states, including California, Massachusetts and Colorado, have decided that shopping malls are essentially Main Street, "and you can't privatize Main Street, at least when you're talking about core political speech."
But Minnesota is not one of those states.