General Question

SeekerSeekiing's avatar

Friends arrested in ST Paul today because they were riding bikes? They were not with the protestors...

Asked by SeekerSeekiing (966points) September 1st, 2008

After the 100+ blackcoats surrounded them, hand cuffed them, and found out they’d rented the bikes to go to a concert…they gave them all misdemeanors and fines. Couldn’t they have just said, “oops, sorry.” And let them go? Maybe the terrorist HAVE won. What sayeih you?

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22 Answers

Meatwad's avatar

What were they charged with?

skfinkel's avatar

This is a terrified society.

lefteh's avatar


This reminds me of when I was arrested for drinking a Coke.

SeekerSeekiing's avatar

Unlawful assembly…the assembly of three…they showed them their concert tickets, bike rentals, and the directions they had for where the concert was, but by being arrested, they missed it.

Tantigirl's avatar

An unlawful assembly of three huh? Talk about extreme paranoia!!!

SeekerSeekiing's avatar

And they got fines of some amounts of money!!! Gotta get the money, you know?

Maybe it was the bicycles…you know if picked up over ones head and THROWN—they’d be weapons…but then I guess anything would.

Kevbo—thanks for the additional sites. Scary reading. Be afraid, very very afraid….

Tantigirl's avatar

That is so ridiculous to fine them when they provided more than adequate proof for why they were there. This is a case of the authorities doing something because they can, not because they should.

Meatwad's avatar

Shit like this makes you wonder if your vote really counts! Remember Florida? The GOP can get away with anything! I’m moving to Canada!

SeekerSeekiing's avatar

write a comment at the ireport cnn cite. Maybe Cnn will look into it.

dalepetrie's avatar

I live in St. Paul and I ain’t goin’ anywhere NEAR downtown till this thing is over. I was driving from my house in St. Paul, I live north and slightly west of the downtown area, to an eastern suburb, via I-94 which basically runs right through downtown. This was about 1:30pm before the shit hit the fan w/ the masked anarchists breaking windows, but every single exit to downtown or within about 2 miles either way was crawling with police cars, people were pulled over everywhere, cops were on the streets, it looked like we were on lockdown. My needle didn’t go over 55mph, I’ll tell you that much. I also read that yesterday the cops raided several homes and confiscated materials of protest organizers. I know they had given a couple groups protest permits then had them revoked, then made sure that the protest route went nowhere near the venue. There are no vehicles allowed within a perimeter surrounding the Xcel, and most of the delegates are bused right around all the hubub so they don’t even have to see it.

A friend of ours on Saturday said she was going to the protests today and was wondering if I wanted to come…I told her I was going to lodge my protest in November when it will actually matter. I mean, they haven’t listened for 8 years, how in the world can you expect these protests will end the war now? Personally as I see it, all this does is give fodder to the partisans. Because now some people (who aren’t even Democrats, they’re anarchists) stepped out of line by breaking windows and vandalizing cop cars, now it looks like when you compare how “peaceful” the Republicans were when they protested in Denver to how “violent” the Democrats are, it just goes to show anyone inclined to believe this argument what a bunch of evil hypocrites we are. It defeats the purpose. And then the facist pig bastards can get away with arresting people for NOTHING, and they’ll just be viewed as part of the 78 (at latest count) who were arrested for actions like what the anarchists did.

I wish Dems would realize that we’re never going to take this country back and end this governance by propeganda we’ve been under for 8 years if we keep giving them ammunition. I think the Rethuglicans are going to win the PR war on this one.

SeekerSeekiing's avatar

Maybe my friend should have said he was 4 months pregnant and going to marry his high school baby’s mama….. Okay, sorry, I’m sounding bitter. I better go to bed!

Probably a plant that started the violence…but you’re right as to what it looks like!

kevbo's avatar

@seeker, I also think it’s within the realm of possibility that these “anarchists” are planted. Regardless, they don’t represent the home community and they don’t represent the vast majority of protesters, so the effect, unfortunately, is that of a bad apple.

The other thought I want to add to this, though, is that it’s not just political conventions that are driving this phenomenon of arresting without cause. In Albuquerque and other cities, people are now being arrested for “refusing to obey (a lawful order)” or what lawyers refer to as contempt of cop, which basically means that an officer arrests you for pissing them off with your mouth. The word “obey” is unique to Albuquerque (as opposed to the rest of NM), and it appears cops use a broad interpretation of the wording to justify arrests. This despite the fact that the so-called offense is constitutionally protected free speech. The Albuquerque Journal reported that, in 2007, 70% of 517 of these cases were dismissed (in Albuquerque courts) and the consensus among legal authorities is that “lawful order” is a very big gray area. Our police chief says that “sometimes the order (given by a cop) is not lawful, but that’s what the courts are for.”

A former NYPD cop and now head of a police studies institute is quoted as saying that “officers mainly use the law to arrest someone involved in a riot and cautioned getting rid of such laws.” Saying, “Police officers get called to disputes, and they are expected to settle them. They can’t walk away. The only tools they have is their own persuasion, their use of force and the law.”

Here’s the Albuquerque city code:

Resisting, obstructing or refusing to obey an officer consists of either:
(A) Knowingly obstructing, resisting or opposing any officer of this state or any other duly authorized person serving or attempting to serve or execute any process or any rule or order of any of the courts of this state or any other judicial writ or process; or
(B) Resisting or abusing any judge, magistrate or peace officer in the lawful discharge of his duties; or
(C) Refusing to obey or comply with any lawful process or order given by any police officer acting in the lawful discharge of his duties; or
(D) Interfering with, obstructing or opposing any officer in the lawful discharge of his regular and affixed duties.

So it appears that cops are using this legal gray area to justify arrests and wipe their hands clean of the inconvenience you are causing them with the point being not to uphold a conviction, but to get you out of the way. I don’t doubt that the bicyclists would have had their charges dropped if they had mounted a competent legal defense. By saying that, I’m not trying to put the blame on them, I’m only saying that it seems now the onus is on the citizen to be educated or resourceful enough with respect to court procedure to avoid these obvious traps.

kevbo's avatar

Scroll down to “Update VII” and watch the video. I’m not trying to sound like a know-it-all, but it’s like she just read my post above.

SeekerSeekiing's avatar

Kevbo, you are in no way a knowitall, and you do have good information. I don’t think these kids backtalked these guys….I think they tried to explain….maybe when the cops are in numbers like that they get into ‘pack’ mentality. I don’t know. Sad state of affairs.

And also for the reporter they arrested—you Salon reference.

marinelife's avatar

If the circumstances are as you describe, they should ask for a court date, take the material there, and probably get the fines and citations thrown out.

SeekerSeekiing's avatar

I agree and they probably will—to some expense, cause they are from out of town. But cannot the police make judgments about who it arrests?

marinelife's avatar

Yes, but when they are dealing with a crisis or maintaining civil order, their focus and world shrinks. A lot of innocent people got caught up in the arrests in Seattle a few years ago during the protests at the WTO. Most were later dismissed by the courts.

It isn’t fair, but life is like that sometimes.

vectorul's avatar

We are only hearing one side of the story. A protest can quickly turn into violence with just one person getting out of line.

kevbo's avatar

Reports of raids and pre-emptive arrests… Minority Report, anyone? It appears that they don’t need to arrest you, they can simply detain you without charging you.

SeekerSeekiing's avatar

DId you guys watch the video of the arrest and afterwards?

This was AFTER the protesters were made orderly. These were young folks riding bikes… I understand they have to maintain order. They took them in, said they’d be there either 48 hours or years… Even after being shown proof they’d been going to a concert. They were charged with a misdemeanor and fined. That could be you or me too!

IT WAS AFTER THE PROTESTERS were brought to order.

I talked to St Paul Police Dept and they said, The police have to arrest these people. and it’s for the courts to sort-out.

That’s why the courts are clogged…the police HAVE to arrest? Come on, they have no discernment? Shhhheeeeshhhh…..can someone whisper police state !!

loser's avatar

That really bites!!!

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