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Concerning police raid of SCSU Administration Building, May 4, 2000

FULL RIOT GEAR - Police Sgt. Brian Marquart stated that full riot gear was not used, but that helmets and gas masks were worn.

The police wore helmets and had bullet-proof vests under their uniforms. They were also outfitted with gas masks, riot bataans, pepper spray, pistols, stun guns, and black leather cases affixed to their belts, the contents of which could not be identified. Some also had green military-style cases strapped to their uniforms, but their contents were not identified. They were not, however, wearing shin protectors, which would have classified their outfits as "full riot gear". In hindsight, witnesses should have said "full riot gear, minus shin guards".


EXCESSIVE BEHAVIOR - Sgt. Marquart said, "It was to protect us and them... We wanted to protect ourselves, bystanders and the protesters."

Either Miles Heckendorn or Ferman Woodberry (University Public Safety Directors) was with the protesters at all times. These two were responsible for coordinating the police strike from within the office. They knew exactly what the protesters did and did not have. They knew there were no arms or traps set, and they were told that the protesters would not commit any violence or resist arrest.

If the safety of protesters and bystanders had truly been a concern, helmets and gas masks should have been issued to the two Public Safety directors and to the thirteen protesters before the raid.

THE WARNINGS - Vice President Gene Gilchrist said that the group was warned to leave the building or the police would be called.

Heckendorn and Woodberry told protesters that police would remove them from the building and issue tickets if they did not leave. The protesters were never warned that they would be arrested by riot police and detained at the Stearns County Jail. The protesters did not trust the administration to let them leave without being arrested, and it appears that their distrust was justified: Ray Shorter attempted to leave with a three year old child after the group was promised that leaving "peacefully" would prevent arrests. He was arrested and brought to the Stearns County Jail. The child was taken from him and was traumatized.