Republican National Convention coverage
St. Paul police continued trampling over the U.S. Constitution as they conducted more mass arrests of peaceful protesters, photographers, videographers and journalists, including two reporters from the ultra-right wing Fox News.
The fracas started after police ordered several hundred people who had gathered at the Minnesota state Capitol for a protest march to disperse at 5 p.m. when their permit expired.
However, protesters claim that they originally had the permit until 7 p.m. and it somehow got changed on them.
Nevertheless, police used tear gas and flash bombs to herd the protesters and journalists onto a bridge, where 250 people ended up getting arrested.
One videographer said police tore his goggles off and sprayed pepper spray into his eyes.
Misael Ivan Lopez, 20, of Minneapolis, said he was documenting the action on his video camera, got caught in the middle of a chaotic crowd targeted by police using pepper spray on University Ave.
“I put myself on the ground and went fetal, but a guy just bent my head out to the side, tore my goggles off and sprayed me,” said Lopez, as he sat on the ground, rocking back and forth while a few march volunteers tended to him.
Police also handcuffed John P. Wise and Alice Kalthoff from the Dallas Fox News affiliated station, releasing Kalthoff after 30 minutes but hauling Wise off to jail.
Kalthoff reported that many other journalists were hauled off to jail as well.
Meanwhile, the recent spate of arrests against journalists in both the Republican National Convention and Democrat National Convention has sparked outrage among several journalism organizations including the Society of Professional Journalists, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, Reporters Without Borders and Free Press.
The ACLU has also gotten involved, which played a prominent role in the $2 million settlement New York City had to dish out after numerous unlawful arrests during the 2000 Republican National Convention.