History Proves: Political Conventions Result In Mass Arrests
CHARLOTTE, NC- History proves - political conventions result in mass arrests.
Hundreds, sometimes thousands of unruly protestors crowd streets and sometimes cause riots.
A total of 800 people were arrested in Minneapolis during the Republican National Convention in 2008, while more than 150 people were locked up in Denver.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department is taking a ‘prepare for the worst, but hope for the best’ approach. They expect most demonstrators to protest peacefully, but to help prevent any violence in Uptown, there is a designated ‘free speech zone’ for protestors near Marshall Park.
CMPD has a plan to handle protestors and any mass arrests.
Chief Rodney Monroe says residents also play a role.
"We all have to exercise tolerance you know.. when you're trying to get across the street and run across a group of 15-thousand demonstrators reaching past you, you may have to find another route or wait for them to pass," said Monroe.
Some people who live or work Uptown are concerned about possible violence, some choosing to stay away all week.
"With the banks being located here, there's probably going to be a few that get out of hand," said Jessica Black, an Uptown resident.
"Stay away from Uptown, work from home and get the kids back and forth to school," said James Guptill, a Cotswold resident who works Uptown.
Chief Monroe and some of his staff just returned from Tampa, where they checked out how officials there are handling the RNC.
CMPD officers also learned about crowd control during the NATO summit in Chicago.