Denver police worry that Democrats will bring unrest to the city, instead of hope, during next week's national convention. The city has built a secret jail just for the occasion. Officials say they need the extra facility, built in a former warehouse, just in case police make mass arrests during the convention.
Civil liberties activists think Denver should feel ashamed of its "Gitmo on the Platte." They say the police want to take short cuts by detaining people instead of using the courts and other proper methods to fight crime. Opponents also worry about the conditions, since the city is using a former storage facility as a jail. Nonetheless, the city says it needed the formerly-secret jail for the event, and officials note it even has air conditioning.
The Secret Service, Pentagon, and FBI will relocate thousands of agents to Denver next week. To find out what other security measures are in the works,
In addition to building secret prisons, Denver will also shut down its downtown freeway during Barack Obama's acceptance speech and the Mail High Stadium for security reasons. The city fears that the historic nature of the convention, and the widespread attention, will attract thousands of potentially unruly demonstrators.
While I hope the city doesn't sequester Americans exercising their constitutional rights, Denver does have an interest in keeping order. But is it possible that law enforcement officials have exaggerated the threat at the cost of taxpayers and civil liberties?