A vote for a post-mortem on RNC police efforts

  • Article by: Scott Gillespie
  • Updated: September 9, 2008 - 10:52 AM

The Republican National Convention is in the rear-view mirror, but one issue lingers: Was the amount of police force seen during the RNC appropriate given the nature of the protests? Our Sept. 3 editorial gave authorities credit for their handling of the Labor Day protest and march, especially given the destructive behavior and threat posed by a relatively small group of self-described anarchists who authorities had been tracking for more than a year. In a wrapup RNC editorial, published Sunday, we said it was unfortunate that several journalists got caught up in police sweeps during the convention. News reports have also shown that an unknown number of peaceful protesters and bystanders were arrested or detained last week. Given the number of complaints, it's good to hear that St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman and Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak are at least discussing some type of review of the police and security efforts in their cities. We'd urge them to follow through and commission an independent study of the events of last week. The RNC represented a huge challenge for local authorities, and the view here is that thousands of officers from many jurisdictions acted properly to keep the public and the delegates as safe as possible. We may never see another event quite like the RNC, but that doesn't mean an independent review wouldn't provide some needed clarity -- and possibly some constructive feedback -- that would serve both cities well in the future.

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