This site is for those who support the victims of the police violence and brutality during the 8.31.07 Critical Mass and to help resist the remaining charges that are being leveled against individual participants so that the cops and the city can save face and have someone to blame for their own misconduct.
Of the 19 people (3 of them minors, another an unassociated bystander) who were haphazardly arrested (tased, pepper sprayed, maced, etc) and sent to jail to be booked, the city couldn’t find the evidence to back up their cases and prosecute 14 of them and their charges are not being pursued. 5 are faced charges including everything from interfering with arrest to assault on a police officer (though video evidence and witnesses tell a different story). All faced gross misdemeanor offenses which carry maximum sentences of up to one year in jail. Jury trials for some have been scheduled for early 2008 and more will be scheduled as the cases proceed. We will update the main site with information on how you can support these individuals as their trial dates approach and as motions are filed.
The cops and the city claim that their brutal actions were not politically motivated. However, in plea offers to two out-of-state participants, part of the prosecutors’ offer as terms of their probation was that they would not be allowed to return to the Twin Cities for one year – a transparent attempt to deprive them of their first amendment right to protest at the 2008 Republican National Convention in St. Paul. (a similar offer was made to local participants of a sit-in at the UofM regents meeting during the recent strike) These offers should disturb anyone concerned about their constitutional rights.
There does exist the potential to hold the police accountable by those falsely arrested and brutalized and at least one individual is pursuing their options. If you were arrested and not charged or you were brutalized by the police check out this post for more information.
Visit the “More Information” link at the top of this page for more background on the events of 8.31 elsewhere on the internet and donate money to the ongoing legal defense of the CM participants who are facing prosecution (visit the “Donate!” link for ways to donate).
The Events of August 31st:
On August 31st, both bystanders and CM participants were subjected to what happens when an overzealous officer puts out an “officer needs help” call. Onlookers were thrown against vehicles and arrested for calmly asking questions, random participants were tackled from their bicycles without any order being given for them to stop, those documenting what was going on were singled out and intimidated or arrested themselves, personal property was destroyed, police cars were driven straight into groups of bicyclists, eyes directly maced, people thrown to the ground, billowing clouds of chemical irritant sprayed, false arrests, pain compliance techniques, tasers used on people already on the ground in handcuffs who were not resisting arrest, the list sounds like the police decided to suddenly unleash all of their inner demons (for firsthand accounts see the “More Information” page).
Though groups called for a truly independent investigation of the events on 8.31, none has been carried out to date. An internal police review found that “no officers were found to violate any police procedures” and the response was “appropriate”. In light of the documented gross misconduct on the part of the officers involved (and their seeming impunity from being held accountable) we are calling on the city of Minneapolis to DROP THE CHARGES, AND PROSECUTE THE POLICE.