St. Paul Police Chief John Harrington addressed reporters this morning, praising the “heroic work” of cops under difficult circumstances yesterday. “We’re looking forward to a day of a little more normality than we had yesterday,” he said at the beginning of the press conference. “They did a great job in the face of a lot of challenges. They did not overreact. They acted appropriately and very respectfully, and we’re moving on to Day 2.”
Harrington also stated that 283 people have been booked into the Ramsey County Jail so far, including 120 on felony arrests, primarily for criminal damage to property and rioting charges. An additional nine RNC-related arrests were made in Minneapolis overnight.
Harrington characterized as a failure the attempts to thwart the RNC from proceeding. “They came here to try and stop the convention, to crash the gates, to stop the buses,” he said. “They failed. They made numerous attempts to crash the gates and never got in.”
When the press conference was opened to questions, Democracy Now’s Amy Goodman questioned the rough treatment of some reporters by police. She and two of her producers, along with an Associated Press photographer, were arrested yesterday. Harrington said he couldn’t comment on the specific situation but defended cops interactions with reporters generally. “If they are in the midst of a riot, we can’t protect them,” he said. “It will be very difficult for us in a moment of that kind of chaos to make those kinds of fine distinctions.”