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An attorney for St. Paul activist Mike Whalen, whose duplex was raided by police two days before the Republican National Convention, served notice on Mayor Chris Coleman and the city Friday that they intend to file a federal lawsuit.

Attorney Ted Dooley said at a news conference Friday that the suit will ask for damages of $250,000. He said claims made in the police search warrant affidavits were "absolutely preposterous."

About two dozen heavily armed police officers surrounded the side-by-side duplex at 949-951 Iglehart Av. the afternoon of Aug. 30 while waiting for a search warrant to be signed and delivered. Anyone who stepped outside was detained, and no one was allowed to enter.

When the warrant arrived, Whalen and his housemates and house guests -- members of I-Witness Video -- were handcuffed and led to the back yard while the duplex was searched. No one was arrested, and nothing was seized by police.

Whalen and Dooley said they believe that members of the video collective, who were staying in the vacant half of his duplex, were the real targets of the raid. The group documents police action against protesters at political conventions.

City Attorney John Choi said, "When we're actually served with a lawsuit, we will review it, and if it is RNC-related we will forward it on to the insurance company for defense and indemnification under the $10 million police liability insurance policy that was in place during the RNC."