Local RNC Protester Takes Home Painful Souvenirs

Mike Paulus

This is old news by now, as the Republican National Convention was a few weeks ago, but I just found a (very) tiny twist to the story. Basically, Kevin Smith, a 17-year-old from Menomonie, was at the convention to protest the war in Iraq when he got arrested amid the general protesting. (He wasn’t actually protesting when he got arrested.) During his arrest he sustained a bunch of injuries and bruises and whatnot. An article in the L-T from Sept. 5 relies on comments from Smith's family, saying the cops used unnecessary force – that’s pretty much the only side of the story shown. Commenters (scroll to the bottom of the article) are quick to point out the one-sided-ness of the article. Many of the comments center on this paragraph:

  • Earlier this week, Smith told Minnesota Public Radio that after police grabbed him without saying why, he tried to pull his arm away and that's when he was beaten.

That arm-pull might say a lot about what happened. But even if the (rough) arrest was warranted, it seems that, against normal St. Paul police procedure, Smith was released with untreated, serious injuries – sans phone call. I’m assuming that kind of thing was pretty common during the (very large) convention.

Adding another twist largely unrelated detail to the story is the City Pages. In its current issue, the magazine features a comic by Ward Sutton using RNC photos. Check out the fourth panel (second down on the left). Doesn’t say anything about what happened, but what a coincidence.