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Lawsuit seeks $250,000 in damages for police raid

by staff |
October 15, 2008
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Mike Whalen
Mike Whalen at press confrence in front of St Paul City Hall. (Fight Back! News/Staff)

St. Paul, MN - A lawsuit resulting from a police home invasion before the Republican National Convention was announced here at a press conference in front of City Hall, Oct. 10. Notice was served on the city of Saint Paul that lawyers representing Mike Whalen will seek $250,000 in damages.

Whalen’s duplex on Iglehart Avenue was cordoned off by Saint Paul police working with the FBI and Homeland Security. Whalen, along with his tenants and guests were held at gunpoint for several hours. They were not allowed to leave and no one allowed to enter.

It has not been disclosed what prompted the raid. An FBI agent requested entry to Whalen’s home an hour prior to the raid. When denied entry, he apparently called the Saint Paul authorities who sent two dozen or so officers into the streets, alleys and entrances in and round Whalen’s home.

When these officers were told they could not enter without a warrant, they held the premises under armed guard while police tried to create a legitimate reason for the home invasion. After an hour or so, Officer Langfellow swore that Mr. Whalen had supported Irish Independence some 20 years ago, had co-owned a bookstore for a year with Sarah Jane Olson (also 20 years ago), had recently failed to put his address numbers on one half of the duplex and had received heavy boxes by U.S. Mail.

The sworn affidavit, supporting the request for a search warrant, also contained a straight-out falsehood about Whalen’s activities that day. A judge of the District Court found all this sufficient to issue the warrant - for the wrong address.

It might be noted that Whalen’s guests included journalists who are part of the growing people’s independent press movement, which documents and uses the web to publish reports of police abuse around the U.S. Some of these folks were raided again elsewhere and some were arrested as they documented the new face of Saint Paul, formerly known as ‘the most livable city in America.’

Mike Whalen is represented by attorneys Ted Dooley and Peter Nickitas, both members of the National Lawyers Guild.

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