by Abby Zimet
A year after St. Paul police rounded up and arrested over 200 people who were planning to protest the Republican National Convention - but hadn't actually done anything yet - 27 plaintiffs filed a class action (external - login to view) suit against the city on behalf of all those arrested. Police officers used pepper spray, non-lethal ammunition and horses against the protesters, none of whom was convicted of anything except not liking Republicans.
"The city has admitted that people were arrested preemptively in this park," said attorney Robert Kolstad. "They arrested them because they were afraid of what they might do in the future, which is a dangerous path for our government to take. Taken to its logical conclusion, what it means is that the government now believes that they can come to our houses and arrest us because they think that we might do something wrong. Our constitution simply doesn't permit that."
Preemptive Arrest | CommonDreams.org (external - login to view)