Rybak calls for investigation

Rybak said his city will cooperate with St. Paul’s post-RNC inquiry.
September 15, 2008

Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak pledged late last week his city’s full cooperation with St. Paul’s independent investigation into public safety practices during the Republican National Convention .
In addition, he called for an exhaustive look into Minneapolis policing protocol during the four-day political event, which was marred by sometimes violent police-protester skirmishes.
In a letter addressed to Minneapolis officials city attorney Susan Segal , police Chief Tim Dolan and civil rights Director Michael Jordan , Rybak said “after-action” reports such as this one are typically done after events that pose public safety challenges.
The report, to be complete next month , will evaluate police training and security protocol used in Minneapolis.
As part of the in-depth look at Minneapolis’ response and preparation for convention-related activities, the City Attorney’s Office will review the citation and arrest processes associated with RNC activities in the city.
High-profile clashes between protesters and police during the convention that occurred in St. Paul are outside this report’s jurisdiction.
Instead, the investigation will focus on major incidents in Minneapolis, including the Aug. 20 Critical Mass ride , the Aug. 30 Media Party , the Aug. 31 Liberty Parade and the Sept. 3 Rage Against the Machine concert at the Target Center.
“To my knowledge, we had no damage to property and no violent incidents connected with RNC events in Minneapolis,” Rybak wrote in the letter.
The mayor noted that he thought it prudent to develop a model policy for working with the media during crowded events like these, after several on-duty journalists were arrested shortly before and during the RNC.
That office will also look into the financial impact of processing cases in Hennepin County courts.
St. Paul’s Review
Scant details have trickled out about St. Paul’s plans to conduct a review of police action during the RNC.
Last week, Mayor Chris Coleman announced plans for an independent review of policing to be led by former U.S. Attorney Thomas Heffelfinge r and former Assistant U.S. Attorney Andy Luger.
First on their to-do list: Complete their “review team” and outline the scope of their work.

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