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8 sue alleging illegal policing during RNC

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Anti-war protest
A protester shouts during an anti-war rally near the State Capitol Thursday evening on the final day of the Republican National Convention in downtown St. Paul in September.
MPR photo/Caroline Yang

Eight people who claim they were victims of police using illegal tactics during the Republican National Convention in St. Paul have filed federal lawsuits.

      The plaintiffs include three self-styled independent journalists, a bookstore owner and four people who took part in street protests during the convention in September.

The suits involve confrontations with police, including street demonstrations and the raid on activists' so-called Convergence Center on St. Paul's West Side.

"It's pretty clear that the executive branch, the police, stepped way, way over the line," said the plaintiffs' attorney Tom Dooley, "attacking people, arresting them without cause, doing some warrantless searches, grabbing property without cause, searching property without warrant."

Dooley filed the lawsuits Thursday in federal court in St. Paul, naming as defendants the cities of St. Paul and Minneapolis, Ramsey County, Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher and more than 50 individual law enforcement officers.

      The lawsuits are the latest legal actions spawned by the convention, which saw huge street demonstrations and hundreds of arrests.

A independent review conducted last year by two former U.S. attorneys found that police had acted largely with restraint, but that officials could have prepared better.

                  (The Associated Press contributed to this report)