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Mall of America drops restitution claim against Black Lives Matter defendants

Bloomington City Attorney still pursuing restitution claim for ‘Police overtime’
By staff |
April 15, 2015
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Minneapolis, MN - According to a letter from their lawyer, the Mall of America (MOA) is no longer pursuing restitution from Black Lives Matter activists for lost revenue after they made the decision to shut down their stores during a Dec. 20, 2014 protest at the Mall of America. This news comes after a massive and sustained public pressure campaign urging the MOA to call on City Attorney Sandra Johnson to drop the charges. The campaign includes a boycott and takeover of the mall’s #ItsMyMall Twitter campaign.

Meanwhile, Bloomington City Attorney Sandra Johnson continues to pursue criminal charges and restitution against alleged organizers of the Black Lives Matter Minneapolis gathering at the Mall of America, seeking tens of thousands of dollars to pay for police overtime.

11 of the defendants pleaded not guilty on the first court date, held March 10. Black Lives Matter Minneapolis called for a boycott of the Mall of America that same day. Amidst the public outcry to drop the charges, media accounts revealed that Mall of America security catfished Minneapolis organizers of Black Lives Matter to glean their data through a fake Facebook account. It was also revealed through a series of emails that Sandra Johnson acted in collusion with Mall of America representatives to coordinate charges being brought against alleged organizers.

In an April 13 letter sent to attorney Jordan Kushner, a member of the Black Lives Matter Minneapolis legal team, representatives of the Mall of America confirmed that MOA will not be seeking restitution against defendants for the Dec. 20 demonstration.

"In response to the massive outpouring of public support for Black Lives Matter Minneapolis, the Mall of America has backed down from its initial positions and stated it will not be seeking restitution. Now, we are waiting for the City of Bloomington to make a similar commitment, and to also drop the charges," said Bruce Nestor, attorney and member of the Black Lives Matter Minneapolis legal team.

Public support has surged for Black Lives Matter Minneapolis supporters and alleged organizers since Sandra Johnson’s announcement of prosecution.

The next court date for defendants is May 1.