Read a Pacific Northwest, liberal perspective on world, national, and local politics. From majestic Redmond, Washington - the Northwest Progressive Institute Advocate.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Police brutality at Republican National Convention is out of control

Authorities in Minneapolis and St. Paul are abusing their powers and violating the Constitution of the United States by arresting reporters without cause:
Democracy Now! radio host Amy Goodman and two producers were arrested while covering demonstrations at the Republican convention in St. Paul, Minn. Goodman was released after being held for over three hours, but is still waiting to hear when Sharif Abdel Kouddous and Nicole Salazar would be released.

"I was down on the convention floor interviewing delegates when I heard that two of our producers had been arrested," said Goodman. "I ran down to Jackson and 7th Street, where the police had moved in."

Goodman said that when she ran up to find out what was going on, she was also arrested.

"They seriously manhandled me and handcuffed my hands behind my back. The top ID [at the convention] is to get on the floor and the Secret Service ripped that off me. I had my Democracy Now! ID too. I was clearly a reporter."
The arrests come in the wake of numerous raids the police are carrying out against property owners who are housing RNC protesters. Phony justification (like suspected fire code violations) were eventually given as the rationale for the raids, with police refusing to divulge their original suspicions:
St. Paul Police spokesman Tom Walsh said they were executing a search warrant.

"The cause for the search warrant is not public at this time," Walsh said.
"Not public at this time"? Who do these guys think they are? America's first responders are supposed to UPHOLD the law, not IGNORE it. Breaking and entering to execute a search is illegal without probable cause.

These guys clearly all need to be given pocket Constitutions, because it's evident they've forgotten what the Fourth Amendment says:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
The fact that the police won't share what their "probable cause" is means they don't have one. The basis for these raids and these arrests seems to have been fabricated. Even legal observers are being arrested.

Peaceful protest - the right to free assembly and free speech - are also rights guaranteed to Americans by our Constitution. Nonviolent demonstrators and journalists are being spontaneously arrested for no good reason. These arrests need to cease immediately and those responsible for instigating this police brutality need to be relieved of command and placed under investigation.


Blogger Cascadia - Consultant said...

Democracy Now reports that all 3 of them have been released. Democracy Now!’s Amy Goodman, Sharif Abdel Kouddous and Nicole Salazar Released After Illegal Arrest at RNC.

Both Youtube and the local news in St Paul has some video of her arrest and the riots at

Nice to know that they are using the 50 million in federal money for security for good use.

September 2, 2008 1:33 AM  

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