Rashad Turner
YouTube screenshot

Black Lives Matter St. Paul, Minn., leader Rashad Turner announced over the weekend that he is leaving the organization, the Pioneer Press reports.

Turner, who was with BLM St. Paul for about a year and a half, is credited with leading the organization as it attempted to bring attention to racial injustice in the area and set itself apart from similar groups.

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According to the Pioneer Press, the group started drawing attention after it helped organize the "Black Fair" protest that briefly shut down access to the Minnesota State Fair.

The Pioneer Press reports that Turner said that he was not comfortable with his affiliation with the national Black Lives Matter movement after leadership called for an end to charter schools, claiming that they perpetuate racial disparities. Turner said that he believes charter schools give families more options for educating their children.

The local leader said that other social-justice groups rising to the forefront, such as AR14 for Justice—a social-justice group protesting to end police brutality and systematic oppression—made him more comfortable about moving on from BLM St. Paul.

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“It definitely made me more comfortable,” Turner said. “Anytime you put your heart and soul into something, it’s hard to leave it, but definitely, other groups have stepped up, so I’m comfortable with where things are at.

“The thing I’m most proud of is how we’ve set the tone,” he added. “We got people involved and engaged enough to the point where they’re ready to take action. A lot of groups have started up in this past year, and they’re ready to start making changes.”

Read more at the Pioneer Press