In preparation for the Republican National Convention, the FBI is soliciting informants to keep tabs on local protest groups
By Matt Snyders
Published on May 21, 2008
Paul Carroll was riding his bike when his cell phone vibrated.
They were looking for an informant to show up at "vegan potlucks" throughout the Twin Cities and rub shoulders with RNC protestors.
Once he arrived home from the Hennepin County Courthouse, where he’d been served a gross misdemeanor for spray-painting the interior of a campus elevator, the lanky, wavy-haired University of Minnesota sophomore flipped open his phone and checked his messages. He was greeted by a voice he recognized immediately. It belonged to U of M Police Sgt. Erik Swanson, the officer to whom Carroll had turned himself in just three weeks earlier. When Carroll called back, Swanson asked him to meet at a coffee shop later that day, going on to assure a wary Carroll that he wasn’t in trouble.