September 2, 2008

Police Misconduct A Threat To Free Speech

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: (212) 549-2666; media@aclu.org
 
MINNEAPOLIS - Amid charges of police misconduct during the Republican National Convention in Minnesota, the American Civil Liberties Union called for accountability for any unconstitutional actions there.

The following can be attributed to Anthony D. Romero, Executive Director of the ACLU:

"Conducting mass arrests and raiding meeting places of innocent Americans exercising their constitutional right to express political dissent are antithetical to the fundamental values of our democracy. Free speech has to be safeguarded during the Republican National Convention, as the workings of our democracy in the streets are as important as those in convention halls. Allegations of police misconduct must be investigated thoroughly and free speech must be safeguarded for the remainder of the convention."

Teams of civil and criminal defense attorneys recruited and coordinated by the ACLU of Minnesota filed five lawsuits seeking to protect free speech and due process in the lead-up to the convention. Attorneys assembled by the ACLU are currently in the jails offering limited representation to hundreds of people who were swept up in mass arrests in the Twin Cities.

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