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ACLU to investigate Rainbow Family treatment

Associated Press - July 5, 2008 5:25 PM ET

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - The American Civil Liberties Union plans to investigate how federal law enforcement officers treated members of the Rainbow Family during their annual gathering this year in western Wyoming.

Federal officers arrested five Rainbow Family members Thursday night. The U.S. Forest Service says the arrests occurred after a mob of perhaps 400 Rainbows threw rocks and sticks at 10 agency police officers after they tried to arrest one member of the group.

Linda Burt is executive director of the ACLU in Wyoming. She says her organization plans to accept collect calls from Rainbow Family members for the next two weeks to hear how law enforcement treated them.

Burt says she's concerned about reports that law enforcement officers have been ticketing Rainbow Family members for the smallest traffic infractions. She also said she's heard reports that officers have walked among the Rainbow camps asking people if they're using drugs with reason to suspect that any crime has been committed.

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