Protester Medics Arrested by Police In Minivans Ben Westhoff

St. Paul, Tue, Sep 2 2008 — Things are so crazy in town this week that sometimes news breaks out right in front of you. As I was crossing University at Park around 1 p.m., two minivans pulled up abruptly, and in an instant eight cops jumped out. On foot, they chased after a pair of cyclists, a woman and a man. They had red duct-taped crosses on her clothes, indicating the pair were “medics” aligned with a group called North Star Health Collective; group members have been roaming downtown helping out protesters and others who have been tear-gassed, hurt, or are simply dehydrated. (More on North Star later.)

Through light rain, the cops chased the female bicyclist across the street, took her down, and put her in the back of a squad car. Across the intersection, a handful of bike cops arrived, and the male medic was tackled, cuffed and detained. The police searched his possessions and rifled through his pockets, unearthing ten tons of stuff, including at least one bottle of white vinegar solution (used for washing out someone’s eyes after he or she has been maced). The police eventually took the medics away in squad cars, and one cop told me they would be charged with, at minimum, resisting arrest. He did not say what sparked the initial confrontation.


Ben Westhoff, "Protester medics arrested by police in minivans." CityPages blog (Minneapolis, MN) Tue, Sep 2 2008.

To see video, photos, and testimony about the arrest, see

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