Minneapolis cops confiscate cameras

Ramping up for the march
Members of the Coalition to March on the RNC and Stop the War show off a banner. The group is coordinating a Sept. 1 march that will take 50,000 protesters from the state Capitol to the Xcel Energy Center, the site of the RNC convention.
MPR Photo/Laura Yuen

Minneapolis police officers detained three activist filmmakers early this morning, and confiscated their video equipment.

According to one of the filmmakers, police officers stopped the group of three as they walked from a bus stop around 2 a.m. in northeast Minneapolis.

Vlad Teichberg says the officers detained the men but did not arrest them. However, he says the officers took some of their cell phones, a computer hard drive and some clothing, as well as their cameras.

The man says the officers told him their actions were in the name of homeland security.

Teichberg says the officers' actions were meant to restrict his First Amendment rights.

"It's a very definite chilling affect on free speech. It's definitely a chilling affect on people's rights to document what's happening around them," said Teichberg. "If they persist in keeping our equipment and get away with it, it's definitely a victory for corruption of police."

Minneapolis police officials say the case is under investigation. But they dispute some parts of the account by the people who were detained.

The journalists are part of a New York-based group called the Glass Bead Collective. Last year, the group filmed police officers in New York roughly arresting protesters at two different demonstrations.

Members of the collective are in the Twin Cities to document how police treat protesters during the RNC.

Your support matters.

You make MPR News possible. Individual donations are behind the clarity in coverage from our reporters across the state, stories that connect us, and conversations that provide perspectives. Help ensure MPR remains a resource that brings Minnesotans together.