Banners Dropped for Isak Aden at Bloomington’s July 4th Celebration

Activists dropped banners on July 3 to commemorate Isak Aden at Bloomington’s ‘Summer Fete’ fourth of July celebration. Aden, 23, was killed by Bloomington and Eagan police on July 2, 2019. The banners read “Justice 4 Isak Aden”, “BPD Kills”, and “City council complicit in Isak’s murder.” Flyers detailing the officers who were involved and information about Aden’s case were also distributed.

A year before the police murder of George Floyd, nearly 100 suburban police surrounded a lone Aden in Eagan, Minn. and fatally shot him as he ran away from flashbang grenades officers threw at him. Aden was a college student and entrepreneurial business owner having a bad day, according to accounts from his family and friends, when swarms of heavily armed police cornered him in a parking lot.

All officers involved in killing Aden, including Bloomington PD Officer Anthony Kiehl and the Eagan PD’s Jacob Peterson, who had previously killed other citizens in separate incidents, were cleared of wrongdoing by county prosecutors. Aden’s family filed a $20M federal lawsuit in 2020. See Unicorn Riot’s coverage of last year’s banner drops commemorating Aden.

Isak Abdirahman Aden

Unicorn Riot received an emailed statement from the autonomous collective “Your Friends” who sent the images of the banner drops and flyers. Read the statement below.

Statement from the autonomous collective “Your Friends”

At Bloomington’s annual 4th of July celebration, a coordinated act of solidarity by an autonomous group of current and former Bloomington residents dropped several banners to memorialize of the Bloomington Police Departments murder of Isak Aden. 

Summer Fete was chosen strategically to remind people in Bloomington that there is no such thing as independence under this white supremacist, militant, and carceral state. To celebrate this nations “independence” is to celebrate white supremacy. White supremacy took Isak’s life. 

On July 2nd, 2019, officers from the Bloomington and Eagan Police Departments murdered Isak Aden in Eagan. Isak was a 23-year-old college student and entrepreneurial business owner.  A fellow classmate described him as “truly a wonderful person, who brought an immense amount of joy in every room that he walked in.”  This is who Isak Aden was, a beautiful soul that was wrongfully taken too soon.  This is how he should be remembered. 

Isak’s life was cut short by torture and isolation and subsequent execution by the armed enforcers— Bloomington police officers: Matthew Ryan, Daniel Nelson, Adam Stier, and Anthony Kiehl and Eagan police officer, Jacob Peterson— of racist state violence. 

Once again, white supremacy did its job: to torture, isolate, and murder Black people, all while terrorizing their community.

Isak’s murderers were cleared from any wrong doing, with one of the Bloomington police officers recently winning “officer of the year”. While we know the carceral system in this country will never bring our dead back to life or bring this to justice, we refuse to allow the murder of Isak to go unspoken. 

The City of Bloomington has not only tried its best to ignore any mention of its involvement in this murder but is also trying to throw out the civil case concerning his murder. 

As long as we are around, the city won’t get away with this. As long as fellow members of our community take action in the name of Isak, the city won’t get away with this. If the city cannot give the justice that Isak Aden deserves, then surely actions and solidarity will.

We ask our fellow residents of Bloomington to remember Isak Aden, remember that this city has blood on its hands. 

In Community,
Your Friends

“Justice 4 Isak Aden” banner hangs in Bloomington, MN during the Summer Fete, 2023 July 4th celebration
B.P.D. Kills” banner hangs in Bloomington, MN during the Summer Fete, 2023 July 4th celebration
“City council complicit in Isak’s murder” banner hangs in Bloomington, MN during the Summer Fete, 2023 July 4th celebration
“Bloomington Police are murderers” flyers put on cars in Bloomington, MN during the Summer Fete, 2023 July 4th celebration
Flyer that was put on cars in Bloomington, MN during the Summer Fete, 2023 July 4th celebration
QR codes in a document sent to UR detailing the banner drops in Bloomington for Isak Aden during the city’s Summer Fete, 2023 July 4th Celebration

See past coverage on Aden’s killing, including interviews with his siblings, below.

Unicorn Riot's Isak Aden Coverage:

Follow us on X (aka Twitter), Facebook, YouTube, Vimeo, Instagram, Mastodon, Threads, BlueSky and Patreon.

More from Unicorn Riot 🦄