By all accounts day one of the RNC, though scaled way back and void of political rhetoric, went off without serious incident. Of the 15,000 some-odd estimated protesters in attendance (i’ve seen estimates as high as 20k and low as 10k so I’m saying 15k) the county’s final tally on arrests and charges for the days was:
– 284 total arrests
– 130 felony charges
– 51 gross misdemeanors
– 103 misdemeanors.
I question that total being as there are reports of some people being detained without charges (still) and people being released shortly after arrest. Even if this number is incorrect by a significant margin it hardly represents a large percentage of those in attendance. That aside, the day wasn’t totally without significant incident.
The major news networks painted a fairly low-key picture of the goings on but those of us privy to local independant media outlets saw something very different; liberal use of pepper spray, tear gas, rubber bullets and even one report of flashbangs (someone even said ‘concussion grenades’, which I’m VERY skeptical of). Independant [neutral, non-aggressive] media and legal representatives have been arrested for merely being near the crowds, crowds of people gathered in parks being surrounded and searched, even walking down the street was apparently enough to warrant a search by whatever agency happened to pass you by.