Friday, April 04, 2008

Protesters welcome here, police on their own?

LT. GORMAN: "Look... we can't have any firing in there. I, uh... I want you to collect magazines from everybody."
PVT. FROST: "What the hell are we supposed to use man? Harsh language?"

—from Aliens (1986)

Chris Baker (100.3 KTLK-FM) on his radio show this morning relayed a report from the StarTribune that Twin Cities cops are being told by their politician bosses to show their kinder, gentler side to anarchist vandals and free-speech oppressors to the 2008 Republican Convention to be hosted here this fall.

"Officers have been told that Tasers and chemical sprays will be limited to reduce the risk of abuse," according to the report. "Those on the 'front lines' will be prohibited from wearing helmets and carrying riot shields because such gear would appear 'intimidating.'"

It appears that the mission on the ground has changed from law enforcement to public relations. This is a developing story.

UPDATE: Minneapolis Deputy Police Chief Robert Allen told Chris Baker that he has not received the letter mentioned in the Strib, and that officer safety and law enforcement are their top priority. Where did the Strib get this letter?

UPDATE: Baker spoke with Police Federation President John Delmonico, who like Allen was also quoted in the Strib story. Delmonico stands by his serious concerns about MPD administration commitment to officer safety and riot control. Baker is on this story like white on rice. Stay tuned.

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