Reporters Warned About Protester Retaliation

Posted September 2, 2008 at 4:41pm

Police warned reporters today that protesters might assault them or damage their property, perhaps as revenge for the media’s coverage of Monday’s protests.

“They may want to find a media vehicle or a media person and try to assault them or cut their tires,” Secret Service spokesman Darrin Blackford said.

“They may not have been completely pleased with the media coverage yesterday, and therefore this may be a revenge tactic on their part.”

Police arrested more than 280 people on Monday after anarchists deviated from a peaceful march and attempted to prevent delegates from getting to the Xcel Energy Center. Some broke windows, slashed tires and overturned Dumpsters.

Most of those arrested have been released from jail, though many were charged with felonies or gross misdemeanors. Critics are questioning some of the arrests, especially those of four members of the media, including an Associated Press photographer.

This afternoon, the streets around the Xcel Center were quiet and protesters scarce. By 4 p.m. CDT, police had only made seven arrests, five for releasing an unknown substance near the Cathedral of St. Paul. But Blackford said police received recent information that protesters could be planning to target the media.