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ACLU calls for investigation of journalist arrests at Republican convention

[JURIST] The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) [advocacy website] has renewed its call [press release] for an investigation into the actions of law enforcement officials at the Republican National Convention (RNC) [convention website] in Minnesota this week. The ACLU alleges that officers in St. Paul conducted "mass arrests, police raids on private homes and [detained] several journalists" in possible violation of First and Fourth Amendment rights. ACLU Executive Director Anthony D. Romero [ACLU profile] spoke out against the alleged actions, commenting that "[p]olitical conventions should be a showcase for free expression, not a venue for bullying and intimidation." The Minneapolis Star Tribune has local coverage. Minnesota Public Radio has additional analysis.

The ACLU of Minnesota had announced [press release] on Wednesday that it would represent several reporters and other attendees who were arrested during the RNC [Minneapolis Star Tribune report], including Amy Goodwin, host of Democracy Now! [media website]. Goodwin was charged with a misdemeanor while her producers were charged with felony intent to riot. According to the ACLU, charges against Amy Goodwin and her producers should be dropped, and the felony charges against Goodwin's producers have since been suspended pending investigation. St. Paul police have denied using excessive force [CNN report], saying they were doing their job to maintain the peace at the convention.

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