Police Intervene, Arrest Ron Paul Backers at Missouri Caucus

March 18, 2012 by  
Filed under Americas

Police and organizers shut down proceedings at one of Missouri’s largest caucuses today, as Ron Paul supporters feuded with local GOP leaders.

“It’s like the Hatfields and the McCoys around here,” St. Charles County’s former GOP chairman told ABC News, after police arrived on-scene with a helicopter and removed Paul backers.

In St. Charles, an exurb of St. Louis and one of the state’s largest GOP counties, Paul supporters sought to elect their own chairman and adopt their own rules when proceedings opened — both of which are part of standard caucus rules and procedure. But as they argued with the caucus chair, Paul supporters held video cameras — against caucus rules, according to a GOP official who was there — and things became contentious.

“It turned into a little food fight within the caucus, between the caucus chairman trying to control the caucus and certain elements, I guess with Ron Paul, trying to be heard,” said Tom Kipers, a former chairman of the St. Charles GOP, who attended the caucus at Francis Howell North High School.

An off-duty police officer, hired as security, eventually filed a trespassing complaint against the Paul supporters and notified on-duty police in the area municipality of St. Peters, who, along with police from other jurisdictions, arrested two Paul supporters and ended the caucuses early. A joint-jurisdictional police helicopter arrived on the scene. Kipers said about 10 officers arrived in total.

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