Don't expect long nights of bar hopping at the Republican National Convention. While both Minneapolis and St. Paul offered the chance for bars and clubs to stay open until 4 a.m., few establishments took them up on the offer.
Some think it's not worth the hassle. Others cite the sky-high price of the $2,500 permit. And honestly, who wants to see Karl Rove spilling Jameson down his triple-chin at last call?
Linda Roberts at the Minneapolis licensing department did inform us that six businesses are applying for permits. And the very first one to apply thinks there's a big market for jiggling flesh: Schieks Palace Royale will be open late. And we couldn't be happier about it. We awarded Schieks best strip club of the Twin Cities this year and can't wait to gently drop fives in the garter belts of Royale beauties at 3:45 in the morning.
"We're very much looking forward to the RNC," says Julian Royal of Schieks. "Getting the permit was a no-brainer." — Bradley Campbell
Police beat critic
The vice president of Communities Against Police Brutality claims he was targeted and brutalized by the Minneapolis Police Department on July 20.
It happened when Darryl Robinson, 47, was participating in Cop Watch, during which citizens film officers on the beat to document any misconduct. Just before 10:30 p.m., a police van pulled up to the corner of 1st Avenue and 10th Street. Two officers got out and told everyone to clear the sidewalk. Robinson told them he was doing Cop Watch and refused to move.
Robinson was cited for "obstructing the sidewalk," according to a police report, which goes on to note that Robinson "was uncooperative during the arrest process" and consequently was charged with obstructing legal process and failure to obey a police order.
But Robinson says the report omits a few key details.
"After they cuffed me, they rolled me down to the ground," he says. "I couldn't break my fall and slammed my head into the concrete. That knocked me out. The whole time I was unconscious, they had me in the choke hold. When I came to, I didn't know what was going on, and they were still choking me. I started screaming. When I screamed, they started kneeing me in the head and neck."
Michelle Gross, President of CAPB, brought him to the hospital after he was released from jail the next morning.
"He suffered head trauma and had marks on his neck," says Gross.
Minneapolis Police Department spokesman William Palmer says the officers used only as much force as was necessary to arrest Robinson. "There were no visible injuries listed in the report." —Matt Snyders
In the past year, volunteers in St. Paul gathered more than 7,000 certified signatures to get Instant Runoff Voting on the upcoming ballot. A similar initiative passed in Minneapolis in 2006, and the city plans to use IRV—which allows voters to rank multiple candidates by preference—in local elections next year.
But things are playing out differently in St. Paul, where the City Council recently overruled petitioners and categorically refused to put IRV on the ballot.
Their reasoning? An assertion by anti-IRV activists that an obscure 1915 state Supreme Court decision renders IRV unconstitutional. The activists have used the same argument in an ongoing lawsuit designed to thwart Minneapolis's use of IRV.
All of which has prompted FairVote, the group that organized the push for IRV in both cities, to take an unusual step: It's petitioning to be added to the Minneapolis lawsuit as a defendant.
"When they lose at the ballot box, opponents to more representative democracy make legal claims," says Jeanne Massey, a spokeswoman of FairVote, the group behind the IRV push. "They've done it in several states, and they've all failed. We don't expect it to be any different here. It's just a bump in the road." —Jonathan Kaminsky
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