Legal observers watch RNC crowd, record interactions with police

Posted at 12:12 AM, Jul 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-22 06:33:48-04

A vast team of legal observers kept their eyes, ears and cameras on the crowd during the RNC, recording interactions with police that could be used in the legal cases of the more than 20 people arrested during the convention. 

The legal observers were deployed by the Ohio Chapter of the National Lawyers guild.

“We’ll be watching to see whether or not the Cleveland Division of Police and the various law enforcement agencies under their control during the RNC continue to engage or fail to engage in constitutional policing,” explained Co-Coordinator Jacqueline Greene. 

Legal observers were on the scene of a flag burning incident that resulted in the arrests of 17 people on Wednesday. Greene said it’s possible that the testimony of those observers will be used in pending court cases. 

In addition to the legal observers, street medics also had a witness role during the RNC. 

“If somebody does get hurt in the street in some sort of confrontation, the street medic there is often the first witness,” said street medic Geena Jackson. “And having a legal observer there is also a wonderful witness.”

While some visitors to popular protest sites were uncomfortable with the idea of being watched, most didn’t seem to notice. 

“If you have more than one observer and you have cameras and so forth people can make judgments for themselves,” said demonstrator Gail Montani of the Gadolinium Poisoning Support Group. 

As of Thursday night, at least 24 people had been arrested during the convention.