Police raids in Minneapolis — What happened to checks and balances?

Protesters here in Minneapolis have been targeted by a series of highly intimidating, sweeping police raids across the city, involving teams of 25-30 officers in riot gear, with semi-automatic weapons drawn, entering homes of those suspected of planning protests, handcuffing and forcing them to lay on the floor, while law enforcement officers searched the homes, seizing computers, journals, and political pamphlets. Last night, members of the St. Paul police department and the Ramsey County sheriff’s department handcuffed, photographed and detained dozens of people meeting at a public venue to plan a demonstration, charging them with no crime other than “fire code violations,” and early this morning, the Sheriff’s department sent teams of officers into at least four Minneapolis area homes where suspected protesters were staying.

This isn’t the first of these this week. It really bothers me that the police can arrest people, confiscate their goods, never press charges, and release them all later with no explanation and no consequences. This makes intimidation far too easy. The magic words “homeland security” keep getting invoked.

If the police now have a simple way to hold people without charges, then the people need a simple way to make the police suffer consequences when the power is misused.

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