As covered by several diaries this week, police in St. Paul have been using draconian measures to repress dissent. First with raids, then with violent tactics against both violent and non-violent protesters, the police have seemed even less restrained than at past similar events. You would think that they would at least consider the possability that their behavior might cost St. Paul millions in damages. Think again.
The Minneapolis Star Tribune posted this article, Taxpayers Are Off the Hook for GOP Convention Lawsuits.
The deal required the Republican Party's host committee to buy insurance covering up to $10 million in damages and unlimited legal costs for law enforcement officials accused of brutality, violating civil rights and other misconduct.
According to the article, this is the first agreement of its kind. After seeing what happened in New York and other host cities for political events, the Mayor urged the Negotiating Committee to hold out for this kind of agreement.
There is some speculation that the agreement actually served to free up St. Paul police to be aggressive with no fear of negative consequences to the city taxpayers.
From the Star Tribune article:
In St. Paul, some critics say the agreement has only encouraged police to use aggressive tactics knowing they won't have to pay damages.
"It's an extraordinary agreement. Now the police have nothing to hold them back from egregious behavior," said Michelle Gross, who leads Communities United Against Police Brutality.
Of course, others disagree and believe that police did not even know of the deal.
The article goes on the say that this type of deal will most likely become a regular part of future convention agreements.
What does it say about the future of civil liberties in America when the coverage of police misconduct in the newspaper is an article about insurance against litigation by wronged protesters?
Here are some DKos diaries on the police misconduct at the RNC:
These are the diaries that I have seen. I know there are others, but they slip away too quickly for many people to see. I'd like to keep bringing up these and other diaries on this topic so that they get the attention that they merit. Please add links to other diaries about this in the comments.