Tuesday, June 3, 2008

ACLU Sues Denver For Weapons Information

ACLU Sues Denver For Weapons Information

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The American Civil Liberties Union has filed suit against the city of Denver after an open records request for information about the purchasing of security equipment for the Democratic National Convention was denied. The group wants to know what weapons the city is buying for crowd control during protests. "Aren't you asking the police to reveal their tactics?" CBS4 asked. "No, we're not asking the police to reveal tactics, we're asking the police to reveal how they are spending the public's money," said Mark Silverstein of the ACLU. The city has allocated millions of dollars for security equipment purchases. Officials said they are planning for a peaceful event, but are ready for "contingencies." The protest group Recreate 68 believes the city is buying high tech weaponry. "We could save them a whole lot of money by just talking with us and de-escalating the confrontational situation that would cause them to use this weapon technology," said Glenn Spagnuolo of Recreate 68. Spagnuolo thinks the city is looking at weapons like a stun gun which fires 20 seconds of pain from a shotgun. He also pointed to the LRAD, a long range acoustic device that emits a tone to disable people. The city responded to CBS4's inquiries by saying it will not discuss tactics and that weapons use is part of that. "It is important to keep that part of the planning confidential," said David Fine, a city attorney. A court date is set for June on another lawsuit the ACLU filed against the city. That case concerns the routes protesters will be allowed to march during the convention.

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