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Black Lives Matter plans protest for King holiday

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Leading the crowd
Organizer Mica Grimm helps lead the crowd on Thursday, Nov. 4, 2014 in Minneapolis.
Bridget Bennett / MPR News

Black Lives Matter Minneapolis, a group that organized a high-profile protest at the Mall of America last month, plans a march on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

The "#ReclaimMLK March," one of many events planned across the country, is scheduled to begin at the corner of Snelling and University avenues in St. Paul.

The group is calling for an end to racial profiling, an independent review board for police, and bias and cultural competency training for officers.

Mica Grimm, a community organizer from south Minneapolis, said the goal of the four-mile march next Monday is to show a link between the civil rights movement of the 1960s, and the current effort to call attention to police brutality.

"We can't honor MLK's words while negating Black Lives Matter and negating the protests that are happening across the country," Grimm said.

"Unfortunately, Dr. King's legacy has been clouded by efforts to soften, sanitize, and commercialize it," the group said on its Facebook page. "Impulses to remove Dr. King from the movement that elevated him must end ... we will walk in the legacy of Dr. King and the movement that raised him."

In December, Black Lives Matter Minneapolis organized a protest at the Mall of America in Bloomington, where thousands of demonstrators led the mall to temporarily shut down dozens of stores. Police arrested 25 people. The protest was part of a wave nationwide following grand jury decisions not to indict police officers who killed unarmed black men they confronted in New York and Missouri.

Black Lives Matter Minneapolis also was behind the demonstration that blocked Interstate 35W earlier that month for hours, then rallied at Minneapolis City Hall protesting police brutality.

Ahead of the MLK Day march, the group has issued a series of demands, including one that the Bloomington city attorney avoid charging protesters and drop demands for restitution related to the Mall of America protest.