Occupy Protesters Take Rally To Mpls. Mayor
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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Mayor R.T. Rybak agreed Monday to hold a public meeting with Occupy Minneapolis activists about the arrests of a dozen protesters over the weekend.
His staff agreed to meet Tuesday afternoon with the activists after about 50 chanting protesters marched into Rybak’s office to demand he address what they said was police brutality on Saturday. They said the mayor will take questions during the forum, which will be held at City Hall.
Occupiers are demanding a plan from the mayor to ensure that police brutality won’t occur in the future, organizer Ben Egerman said. He and others present Saturday said police roughly handcuffed protesters and threw them onto concrete sidewalks.
Egerman said the meeting is “a very small victory. I’m still very upset and I’m still very angry over the actions that went down on Saturday. Hopefully it will lead to a real dedication to accountability. I have to admit I don’t have my hopes set super high.”
The mayor’s spokesman did not immediately return a call seeking comment.
A police spokesman, Sgt. Stephen McCarty, said he couldn’t comment on the protesters’ claims because no direct allegations had been lodged against any specific officer. He said any individuals who felt they were mistreated should file a complaint through proper channels.
Earlier Monday, Police Chief Timothy Dolan acknowledged that one of his officers may have gone too far during Saturday’s protest by knocking a video camera off the shoulder of KSTP-TV photojournalist Chad Nelson, who was recording the arrests of protesters.
“From my preliminary review of the video regarding Mr. Nelson, the officer’s interference does not appear to be necessary. If that is the case, I am a very disappointed,” Dolan said in a statement. He said the department’s internal affairs unit was reviewing the incident.
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