BLOOMINGTON (AP) - The Bloomington city attorney she can't back away from charges against 11 protesters who were among a crowd of demonstrators at the Mall of America.

About 100 ministers have signed a letter asked City Attorney Sandra Johnson for leniency for the protesters, mostly black, who are charged with crimes stemming from the Dec. 20th demonstration. It was one of many across the country spurred by a series of high-profile deaths of black men at the hands of police officers.

Johnson says it would violate her oath of office if she didn't uphold the law even-handedly. The faith leaders are asking Johnson to direct her energy instead to fighting racial disparity. The 11 are due in court March 10 in Edina.