On Saturday night, hundreds of people protesting the deaths of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling, shot dead by police officers earlier in the week, gathered at St. Paul Governor’s residence and marched to Interstate 94, shutting it down for at least five hours.
Police said on Twitter that people on the Interstate were “throwing rocks, bottles, fireworks and bricks.” At least two policemen were hit in the head with chunks of concrete. St. Paul police also said protesters threw Molotov cocktails. Officers had to use inert smoke several times in order to get the demonstrators leave the freeway.
Interstate 94 has now reopened for vehicle traffic. At least 50 people protesting there were taken to custody and charged with third degree riot.
Law enforcement made 52 more arrests in a second riot on the city’s Grand Avenue, “for public nuisance and unlawful assembly.” Those people, however, were booked and then released.
Protests in St. Paul follow nationwide rallies that have engulfed the States, with 100 more arrests made nationwide on Friday.
The largest number of arrests was made that night in Rochester, New York, where protesters blocked downtown streets.
Activists are demanding that the officers, who killed the two black men last week, face murder charges. Law enforcement across the nation had to increase their vigilance following the deadly shooting of five policemen in Thursday night’s ambush at a similar Black Lives Matter rally in Dallas.