NY Cop-Watchers Harassed in Minneapolis

You remember the cop who tackled a Critical Mass cyclist last month and got in trouble for it? If you do it's probably because of the infamous video made by the politically-minded local video crew Glass Bead Collective and circulated via YouTube.

The cops and cop fans at THEE RANT were pretty sore about that ("Damn!! These cameras"). Now it may be that Glass Bead Collective's video brought them some negative attention in other jurisdictions as well: three GBC artists say police detained and searched them without cause yesterday in Minneapolis and seized a lot of their video equipment. Minneapolis, we're sure everyone is aware, is the site of next week's Republican National Convention.

Attorney Bruce Nestor told a press conference that early Tuesday morning Vlad Teichberg, Olivia Rachel Katz and Anita Brath got off the 17B bus at 27th and Washington St. in northeast Minneapolis, and were walking to a friend's house when cops pulled up in squad cars (later joined by a sheriff's deputy) and interrogated them about some "car burglaries" in the area. The cops searched their property without their consent, and seized cellphones, video cameras, a still camera, a computer, and a hard drive, "as well as clothing, personal objects, and money."

The cops later told Nestor that the group was being investigated for "criminal trespass" in the local railroad yard -- which was the first any of the videographers had heard of it.

The Minneapolis Star-Tribune notes that "a recently adopted city resolution" stipulates that "police may confiscate video cameras only during events such as protests if needed for evidence or if the person with the camera has been arrested." Of course, there was no protest on Tuesday morning in northeast Minneapolis, and probably no witnesses.

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