Police deny using excessive force against RNC protesters

Jim Kavanagh
CNN
Friday, Sept 5, 2008

Authorities in Minnesota's Twin Cities have created "a climate of intense police intimidation," protesters at the Republican National Convention contend, but officials say they're merely preserving the peace.

As of 9 a.m. CT Thursday, 422 people had been arrested since the convention began, according to law enforcement's Joint Information Center. Only 40 were still in custody earlier in the day.

St. Paul police had arrested 145 individuals on felony charges, 107 on misdemeanors, and 53 on gross misdemeanors, said Deputy Tracy Martin of the Hennepin County Sheriff's Department. She did not know the charges against 15 others.

More than 100 were detained Wednesday night after a Rage Against the Machine concert, Minneapolis Police Chief Tim Dolan said Thursday. None were charged with felonies.

Most were given citations and released, but about 15 remained in jail after refusing to identify themselves, he said.

"The bottom line with those individuals is they wanted to be arrested," Dolan said.

Another demonstration is due to begin at 5 p.m. before Arizona Sen. John McCain gives his nomination acceptance speech at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.

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