365体育投注ST. LOUIS PARK, Minn. — Dozens of demonstrators on Sunday, March 1, took over the stage at was set to be a get out the vote rally for Democratic presidential hopeful and U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, delaying the event and ultimately forcing its cancellation.
The protesters sought to raise awareness about the decades-old case of Myon Burrell, who is serving a life sentence after his conviction in 2002 for the first-degree murder of 11-year-old Tyesha Edwards. Klobuchar was Hennepin County prosecutor at the time, and recent that put Burrell behind bars have led to calls for the case to be reopened.
Demonstrators on Sunday said they wanted Klobuchar and other Democratic hopefuls to acknowledge the gaps in the case and to free Burrell. Protesters marched into the high school gymnasium set to host the rally with sheet signs and shirts that read, "Free Myon." For an hour, they chanted as Klobuchar supporters filled the rest of the gym.
Klobuchar was set to make her last appearance in Minnesota ahead of the presidential primary on Tuesday, but after protesters and Klobuchar's campaign failed to reach an agreement, the campaign abruptly canceled the rally Sunday evening.
Justin Buoen, Klobuchar's campaign director, said the senator was in a room at St. Louis Park High School prepared to meet with Burrell's family and demonstrators ahead of the rally, but they pulled out. Demonstrators pushing for a new look at the case, meanwhile, said Klobuchar bailed on the meeting.
"They decided not to do it," Leslie Redmond, with the Minneapolis NAACP, said. "We wanted somebody to acknowledge Myon Burrell on the stage and who he is."
365体育投注Buoen said Klobuchar is open to meeting with demonstrators and has said she hopes the Hennepin County prosecutor's office considers fresh evidence in the case.
The clash raised questions about whether Klobuchar could gain support among people of color as she makes her bid for the White House. And after she gained little support in South Carolina's caucuses Saturday night, some were skeptical she could build the coalition needed to take down President Donald Trump.
365体育投注Supporters appeared slightly confused Sunday evening as they filed out of the high school without seeing Klobuchar. But they said they still support her.
"I feel really sad about it because I think to Amy Klobuchar, black lives do matter and there shouldn't be an opposition here," Courtney Olson, 62, who came out to support Klobuchar, said. "I think it's really too bad."
In Minnesota, Klobuchar appeared a strong contender just over a week ahead of Super Tuesday and Minnesota's primary contest. Polls showed Klobuchar had a lead in Minnesota in a recent . U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders appeared to pose the greatest challenge in Minnesota's primary contest. Sanders carried the support of 23% of Democratic voters likely to participate in the primary compared to Klobuchar's 29%. The Vermont senator was set to hold a rally in St. Paul on Monday evening.
Klobuchar, Minnesota's senior senator, spent the weekend meeting voters in Alabama, Maine, Tennessee, Virginia and North Carolina, and she was set to travel to Arkansas, Colorado, Missouri, Oklahoma and Utah before returning to St. Paul on Tuesday night.