Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Rioting and trespassing charges dropped against advocacy journalist covering pipeline protests

Rioting and trespassing charges have been dropped against a advocacy journalist covering the Dakota Access Pipeline protests. Amy Goodman, of the liberal radio show Democracy Now!, said a judge in Morton County, North Dakota (Wikipedia map) refused to formalize charges against her for participating in a riot while covering the North Dakota protests, Andrea Perez reports for the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. Misdemeanor criminal-trespass charges had already been dropped.

"Goodman’s coverage caught images of protesters attaching themselves to construction tools in hopes of causing delays, but also showed Dakota Access Pipeline security guards physically assaulting nonviolent protesters, pepper-spraying them and allowing guard dogs to bite some of them," Perez writes. "Throughout the seven-minute video, Goodman is heard narrating the unfolding events, conducting interviews and occasionally appearing in front of the camera."

Goodman said: "I came back to North Dakota to fight a trespass charge. They saw that they could never make that charge stick, so now they want to charge me with rioting. I wasn’t trespassing, I wasn’t engaging in a riot, I was doing my job as a journalist by covering a violent attack on Native American protesters."

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