Chris Uggen's Blog: convention arrests in context

Sunday, September 07, 2008

convention arrests in context

to offer a little context on social control at the republican national convention, the minneapolis strib published data on the number of arrests in each party's national convention for 1996, 2000, 2004, and 2008.

i'm skeptical of the data quality here, especially with respect to reporting differences in the number of arrests attributed to the convention. if the data can be trusted, however, arrests at republican conventions have outpaced those at democratic conventions for at least the last three conventions. the strib's randy furst and anthony lonetree offer a useful companion piece regarding changes in convention policing since the 1999 WTO protests. an excerpt:

St. Paul and Denver each received $50 million in federal funds for policing the conventions. Tony Bouza, former Minneapolis police chief, said he thinks St. Paul could have handled the security with a few hundred extra police officers. "The only reason they did it was an orgy of overtime, subsidized by the United States government under the National Security Act," he said.

hmm. ol' chief bouza was never one to mince words...


At 11:14 AM, Blogger Brad said...

The arrests look about right for 2004 from some reading I did a couple of years ago.

What I would be interested in seeing is a breakout of what our 2008 arrests for RNC were for and the outcomes (convictions or not) for those arrests. You could also check to see how many of those persons were released 36/48 hour experation (the time held for investigation runs in full, then the jail releases) vs. having a cop sign you out.

Part of this would be to see how many/what percentage of persons were held on 36 hour holds for charging (Gross Misdemeanor and Felony) and then not charged. It's a little tough to be locked up for a couple of days, deprived of liberty, then released. I think they should focus on that vs a little pepper spray (it can be used as a condiment!)

At 11:22 AM, Blogger christopher uggen said...

great research ideas, brad. are you listening woz?

and i guess i agree on the pepper spray. as a teenager, i was maced and sprayed repeatedly. my crew used the stuff recreationally on one another (in proto-Jackass fashion). once you get over the admittedly-scary initial shock, the pain dissipates like a bee sting.


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