ALBERT LEA, Minn. - At the Freeborn County Courthouse, the threat of severe weather didn't deter hundreds of protesters from rallying for police accountability.
The peaceful protests started with a rally at the Courthouse. Protesters used a megaphone to address the issues of racism and police accountability. Protesters circled the streets of downtown Albert Lea. Organizers say they had a point to make.
"I honestly don't think almost anything has been done within the community even when I was in school, there really wasn't much talk of diversity or tolerance within the community," Hannah Goodemann, the organizer, said. "I haven't seen that since leaving school, very much of it, so I definitely feel it's important to open up that dialogue now."
At the protest - Director of Public Safety JD Carlson told protesters no one in law enforcement supports what happened with George Floyd and Officer Chauvin. Carlson also pointed to an open door policy between the community and the police department. If anyone has an issue, they are encouraged to go to Carlson.
Protesters also dealt with some unbearable heat this afternoon. Freeborn County Sheriff Kurt Freitag requested more law enforcement help out at the rally. As more protests happen this summer, Freitag has some best practices for those determined to hold protests in the heat.
"The thing they've got to do is plan ahead of time," Sheriff Freitag said. "They just can't get in their vehicle, drive to Albert Lea and realize it's 95 degrees with quite a bit of sun and I have no water, no sunscreen. The best thing they can do is prepare for that."
He also recommends an umbrella or floppy hat in the sun. For more resources on dealing with the heat, visit this link.