Ramsey county settles with RNC protestersby Rupa Shenoy, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Six activists who say their homes were illegally searched in the days prior to the 2008 Republican National Convention will receive $27,000 from the Ramsey County Sheriff's Office.
In the lead up to the RNC, the sheriff's office searched three homes and a political meeting space in St Paul. They seized hundreds of books and papers. The ACLU, representing the plaintiffs, argued their free speech and due process rights had been violated.
As part of the settlement, the plaintiffs negotiated a one-hour meeting with Ramsey County Sheriff Matt Bostrom. Bostrom's predecessor, Bob Fletcher led the department at the time of the raids.
Plaintiff Andrew Fahlstrom (FALL strom) says he wants to have a face to face discussion about the 2008 convention.
"This is going to be our chance for that hour, and our lawyers chance to talk to them about some of the failings that happened during the RNC. There's nothing binding that'll come out of that conversation but at least they'll get to hear a different side of the story."
Ramsey County Sheriff spokesman Randy Gustafson says the settlement doesn't acknowledge wrongdoing by the sheriff's office.
"The settlement economically was the right decision to save the county money in the long run," Gustafson said. "And as we look to the future now that a new administration is in place we will be analyzing our policies and procedures to reduce the possibility for future lawsuits."
Last week the FBI and city of St Paul reached a $50,000 settlement with three other RNC protestors. Their homes were also raided prior to the convention.