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Protest For Philando Castile Underway In Mpls.' Loring Park

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- Black Lives Matter St. Paul and the Minneapolis NAACP are holding a rally Saturday afternoon.

The "Rally & Solidarity March For #PhilandoCastile & Others" began at 4 p.m. at Minneapolis' Loring Park. About 200 to 300 people gathered for the rally.

Many protesters wore red, which symbolizes the bloodshed of the past week, they said.

"It's hurtful. Look at all the articles I put out. I'm a criminal justice educator," said Jason Sole of the NAACP. "So for me, I travel all across the country talking about, and it's like, we've been telling you. Even before Ferguson and before all the things that have happened beyond Mike Brown, Tamir Rice, everyone. I've been saying the same thing. My rhetoric hasn't changed."

Around 5:45 p.m., protesters began marching down Hennepin Avenue. They stopped briefly for a sit-in near North 9th Street and Hennepin before continuing.

BLM protest in Loring Park
(credit: Nina Moini)

Protesters reached the Basilica Block Party just after 6:30 p.m.

BLM says it wants Falcon Heights to cut ties with the St. Anthony Police Department after the shooting of 32-year-old Philando Castile Wednesday night.

Falcon Heights Mayor Peter Lindstrom expressed his condolences to Castile's family at an emergency city council meeting Friday afternoon.

He also promised transparency in the coming months as they learn more about Castile's death.

Members of BLM and the St. Paul NAACP then briefly met with the mayor.

They say many members of the black community report racial profiling along Larpenteur Avenue in the area where Castile was shot.

"Continuously being pulled over for implicit bias, a.k.a. driving while black. And now it's taken the lives of one of our brothers in our community," said Rashad Turner of Black Lives Matter St. Paul.

BLM says if Falcon Heights does not find another law enforcement agency to police the city, the protests will continue.

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