Preemptive Arrest

Preemptive Arrest

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
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."

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