As Black Lives Matter protesters gear up to “disrupt” the finish line of the Twin Cities Marathon this weekend, debate has been growing over if and when arrests should be made.
City officials responded Wednesday, with Mayor Chris Coleman saying the group’s “threatened actions pose an unacceptable risk to runners, spectators and protesters themselves. To paraphrase an old adage, the right of anyone to protest ends at another’s nose, or, in this case, someone else’s feet.
“Therefore, I have asked (St. Paul Police) Chief (Thomas) Smith to keep all options on the table to prevent disruption of the race or prevent runners from finishing the marathon.”
During a news conference hours later, Smith noted that in the time his department has protected the marathon, “not once in those 33 years has that event been disrupted, and we’re not going to let that occur now. … There will be consequences, including arrests.”
Black Lives Matter St. Paul leader Rashad Turner responded briefly by text following the mayor’s statement: “We won’t physically stop ANY runners. We will be holding signs and using our voices.”