If the Minneapolis police are already nervous about people taking their pictures — and the stories Tim Nelson has uncovered suggest they are — it might not be a bad idea for everyone to get comfortable with the idea soon.
This week, I’ve taken more pictures of cops and security that at any other previous convention. On several, I expected a warning not to take a picture. It never came. That doesn’t mean that some Denver cops aren’t losing it, though.
One ABC News photographer and reporter was detained for photographing some senators and big-money supporters, according to ABC. Many of these incidents seem to happen where there isn’t that much of a threat.
A more typical scene is described in a Boulder newspaper about a parade that occurred on Wednesday:
Horse-mounted police and hundreds of officers standing in full riot gear, with batons at the ready, looked on, took some verbal abuse in stride and allowed the non-permitted event to take its course.
(Aside: The paper embellishes the size of the crowd. I met this protest parade, ducked one block down to use an ATM machine and in the time it took me to make a fastcash withdrawal — $40 if you must know — the parade had passed.)
Many of the Denver residents I’ve talked to this week have been unnerved by the sheer size of the police force here. Who wouldn’t be? At the same time, however, it’s generally clear that the security forces have been well counseled on what to expect, and the need to keep calm. The officers, too, are experiencing an attention that they’ve likely never encountered before either.
Will the Twin Cities be able to say the same thing a week from now?
This much is fact: There are going to be more cameras trained per second on the cops for five days than they’ve seen in their accumulated lifetimes.
Local officials tried to get the Republican convention to Minneapolis – St. Paul as a marketing tool for the region, to enhance the Twin Cities’ image.
Let’s take a look at how that’s going so far:
(Taken by Nikki Tundel on the 16th Ave. mall on Wednesday night.)
Save this link. Next week, if you are told not to take a picture, drop me a line with the particulars. But be mindful of this one tip: If the police ask you to do something next week, you probably should do it. Security forces in Denver, while courteous, are in no mood to discuss principles, or negotiate alternatives. The early evidence suggests the same will hold true in the Twin Cities.