Approximately 100 people marched up and down 42nd Avenue North on Mar. 2 to protest Crystal Police Department’s treatment of minority communities after the shooting of Khaleel Thompson the previous Wednesday. The Justice for Khaleel march called for the investigation and firing of the four police officers involved. Thompson was shot after pointing an airsoft gun in Bassett Creek Park.
Police blocked sections of Douglas Drive and 42nd Avenue North surrounding the Crystal Police Department so that protesterswould be required to park several blocks away and gather in the street, instead of the station’s parking lot.
Passerby confronts a member of Black Lives Matter to declare that “all lives matter” while the groups readies to march down the street. This scene and argument is a common occurrence at Black Lives Matters rallies and protests.
An unidentified member of Black Lives Matter leads the march by chanting various slogans like, “when the environment is under attack, stand up fight back” and “impeachment is too slow, Donald Trump has got to go.”
Protesters passed through a police barricade and disrupted traffic on Douglas Drive. The driver of a truck continued to lurch forward to move the protest organizers out of the way when they tried to stop them from proceeding through the intersection.
Protesters marched up and down the street chanting slogans like, “if we don’t get no justice, they dont get no peace” and “we oppose Trump and Pence, they only serve the one percent”. They stopped several times to yell these into megaphones and at the turnaround point, a red truck with a speaker and microphone joined the group so that various people could speak.
At the end of the march, speakers got onto the microphone again to call for action against the Crystal Police, saying that enough is enough. These included friends and roommates, but Khaleel’s mother, Noami Thompson, also spoke at the march saying that the last week has been “a nightmare” and that police need training on how to better respond to mental health crises.