Sen. Amy Klobuchar announced today that she was ending her presidential bid after what could only be described as a rough homestretch. On Sunday, just two days before Super Tuesday, the Democratic presidential hopeful organized a rally at St. Louis Park High School to drum up support in her home state.
Around 300 supporters showed up hoping to hear Klobuchar speak. But the planned event never got off the ground.
About 50 protesters from various groups, including the Network for Racial Justice and Black Lives Matter interrupted the gathering, chanting, “Free Myon!” Their goal was to bring attention to the questionable prosecution of Burrell, as well as Klobuchar’s record as Hennepin County prosecutor.
Burrell was charged in the accidental killing of 11-year-old Tyesha Edwards in 2002 and convicted twice. He has spent over half of his life in prison since being convicted. The prosecution relied on witness testimony; there was no DNA evidence that tied him to the murder, and no murder weapon was ever recovered.
Campaign volunteers scrambled to maintain order as the protesters pushed their way to the front of the stage where they remained for an hour. At times there was a testy exchange between protesters and Klobuchar supporters. Finally, a staff person announced that the rally had been canceled and thanked everybody for attending.
“Who shut it down? We shut it down!” chanted the protesters as the people attending the rally walked out. The majority of Klobuchar supporters left, but a small handful remained in the gym and discussed and debated what had just transpired.
Then the sounds of drums came from behind a curtain dividing the gym as the St. Louis Park High School drumline—who had been scheduled to perform—decided the show must go on and came out to dazzle the crowd. As they performed and danced, protesters, staff, and the remaining people attending the rally, cheered them on.
The youthful energy of the drumline closed out the night and seemed to unite the disparate groups.
Find out more about Burrell’s controversial conviction below.
–Minnesota man seeks to toss his murder conviction Sen. Amy Klobuchar stood behind for 17 years