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Arrests made as Black Lives Matter protesters blocked light-rail line ahead of Super Bowl

MINNEAPOLIS  — Police on Sunday arrested a group of activists who locked themselves along a light-rail line carrying Super Bowl ticketholders to U.S. Bank Stadium, shutting down trains for more than two hours.

Live footage from the scene showed officers unlocking or cutting through locks the protesters had used to chain themselves to each other and to fencing at the West Bank Station on Metro Transit’s Green Line. The handcuffed protesters were loaded onto a waiting bus.

Metro Transit used buses to ferry passengers around the blockage, and spokesman Howie Padilla said the agency was confident spectators would reach the game before kickoff. The shutdown started about 2:15 p.m., and the stop was finally cleared about two hours later. It wasn’t immediately clear when trains would resume.

Chinyere Tutashinda, a spokeswoman for the activists, said they were protesting police brutality, as well as the light-rail lines being set aside solely for Super Bowl ticketholders on Sunday. Non-ticketholders had to use buses instead.

The Green and Blue lines were a major route for many fans to get to Sunday’s game, with security screening done before passengers boarded.

The light-rail shutdown came as Black Lives Matter and several other groups staged rallies and a march Sunday to protest police brutality and corporate greed. About 300 people gathered at a park a couple of miles south of the stadium, and planned a march that would have them arrive at the stadium near 5 p.m.