'Riot equipment' found at OccupyMN demonstration

5:18 PM, Oct 24, 2011   |    comments
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MINNEAPOLIS -- The Hennepin County Sheriff's Office found a box labeled "riot equipment" Monday at the Hennepin County Government Center Plaza, site of the OccupyMN demonstration.

The protest started Friday, October 7 and both the Sheriff's Office and Minneapolis police have been patrolling the area. According to the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office, the cost to the county has exceeded $200,000. Numbers released Monday say the Sheriff's Office personnel have been paid $71,300 in regular pay and $128,780 in overtime for the OccupyMN demonstration alone.

The Sheriff's Office also said Monday seven people have been issued trespass notices since the demonstration began on October 7. Lisa Kiava, Hennepin County Sheriff's Office communications director says when an individual has been issued a trespass notice, that individual is prohibited from returning to the Government Center for a year.

The Hennepin County Sheriff's Office provided the following timeline of events since the start of the protests:

10/10/11:
• One male unresponsive and extremely intoxicated was transported to HCMC.
• One male transported to HCMC for a diabetic reaction.
• One male transported for a head injury to HCMC (unknown cause).
• One suicidal male transported.

10/11/11:
• One person fatigued on the plaza and refused further medical.

10/12/11:
• One person down and fell from a wheelchair. HCMC on scene and handled the incident.

10/13/11:
• Tents had to be removed from the Plaza.

10/15/11:
• A woman was arrested for trespassing. Previously, she was given a trespass notice by Hennepin County Security and after defacing a building.

10/20/11:
• Seven protesters arrested by Minneapolis Police for impeding traffic at 6th St/2nd Ave. The protesters set up three tents in the middle of the intersection.
• Medical assistance requested for one man hearing voices on the plaza.

10/21/11:
• Port a Potty was intentionally lit on fire. Suspect unknown.
• Indecent exposure incident: One female and two males ran around the plaza wearing underwear. Parties left the plaza before they could be stopped and identified.

10/23/11:
• A man was arrested on the Government Plaza for theft and obstruction. The suspect is accused of stealing items from other demonstrators.
• Another man was using alcohol on the Government Plaza. He was found to have a warrant out of Stearns County and he was arrested. He was also trespassed from the property.

10/24/11:
• Hennepin County Security found a box of bricks and rocks on the Government Center Plaza. A note was attached to the items and it described the items as supplies for a riot. The Sheriff's Office is investigating. This incident is a concern for the safety of all citizens at the Government Center, those who work at the Government Center, and law enforcement officers.

The Hennepin County Sheriff's Office says they have been meeting daily with organizers from OccupyMN since October 5.

(Copyright 2011 by KARE. All Rights Reserved.)

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