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Place your bets now: How many RNC arrests?

Here’s an idea for your next office pool: How many protesters will be arrested at the Republican National Convention in September?

There seems to be some disagreement among various parties with an interest in such disparate topics as maintaining law and order and maintaining citizens’ rights to protest. The American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota predicts 800 arrests during the four-day convention, while the St. Paul Police Department thinks the figure will be a fraction of that.

Meanwhile, however, Ramsey County Sherriff Bob Fletcher said the ACLU’s projection might be more accurate. Complicating matters is the recent history of GOP conventions: 1,800 were arrested at the 2004 RNC in New York City, while the 2000 convention in Philadelphia saw only about 600 arrests. (Chicago ’68 notwithstanding, Democratic conventions tend to be much more peaceful affairs.)

We’re not bookmakers, but if we were to devise an “over/under” figure, it would lean closer to the Philadelphia total. After crunching the numbers, our official prediction: 755 arrests, or about one for every three Republican delegates in attendance.

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  1. Ill bet a round on me that it tops 1000.

  2. Sheriff Fletcher finally reached his 800 mark, hurrah!. Too bad he had to trap 400 commuters, Sears shoppers, peaceful protesters, journalists and anarchists on the Marion Street bridge for five hours to reach his goal.

    He’s an embarrassment to law enforcement. He’s made the Lead Local Agency – the St. Paul Police Dept. – look like fools.

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