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Mall of America restraining order dropped against Black Lives Matter leaders

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A request to depart
Black Lives Matter protesters gathered at the Mall of America rotunda on Dec. 23, 2015.
Angela Jimenez for MPR News

An attorney for the Mall of America has asked a Hennepin County judge to drop a restraining order against Black Lives Matter protest leaders.

Susan Gaertner said the legal move served its purpose to keep protesters out of the mall in the planned December protest. She filed the motion to voluntarily dismiss the restraining order Monday.

A Hennepin County judge previously issued a temporary restraining order to ban three Black Lives Matter protest leaders from demonstrating in the mall or on mall grounds just before Christmas.

"We believe that it had the correct effect on the goings on that day," Gaertner said. "In fact there was no protest at Mall of America on that day."

On Dec. 23, the Mall of America shut down stores around a rotunda prior to the protest. There was a brief gathering at the mall, virtually silent, as protesters walked out with fists up in the air and headed to the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. Protesters were hoping to draw attention to the fatal police shooting of Jamar Clark in November.

Protesters halted train traffic as they hopped on the light rail to the airport. Black Lives Matter leaders later said the gathering at the mall was just a decoy for a day of disruptions in the area.

Gaertner said the events at the Mall of America in the 2015 gathering were nowhere as large as the protest that took place in 2014. It was part of the reason she dismissed the lawsuit.

"We have no information leading us to believe there are more planned protests," she said.