AP News
Posted: Aug 29, 2012 6:06 PM

Many workers and residents seem comforted by the platoons of police roaming downtown during the convention, but at least one man isn't.

Donny Rhode stood on the edge of a park Wednesday in the spitting rain, holding a cardboard sign criticizing Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn. It said, "Generalissimo Buckhorn Declares Victory" and "Free Speech Dead."

Rhode was angry about the thousands of police deployed to Tampa for the convention. He wondered how much that cost taxpayers. And he said it resulted in fewer protests.

Clearly, the number of demonstrators in the city is far less than police anticipated, and they have been more peaceful than expected. As of 5 p.m. Wednesday, only two protesters had been arrested.

Some anti-GOP protesters praised police officers, though they said their presence was perhaps more than needed.

"I haven't experienced one rude cop. They have been great," said Nick Sabatella, who came to Tampa from New York with Occupy Wall Street. "I walk by the cops and I say 'hi' and they say 'hi' back."

— Tamara Lush — Twitter http://twitter.com/TamaraLush


EDITOR'S NOTE — Convention Watch shows you the 2012 political conventions through the eyes of Associated Press journalists. Follow them on Twitter where available with the handles listed after each item.