For Immediate Release
The Minnesota Society of Professional Journalists Pro Chapter is alarmed and dismayed a working journalist in this country still needs to be on guard against the arbitrary use of force by a police officer. Videotape of the incident on April 7 shows an unidentified Minneapolis police officer shoving a camera off of KSTP-TV photographer Chad Nelson’s shoulder. Nelson tried, unsuccessfully, to keep the expensive piece of equipment from smashing to the ground. He was doing his job, recording interactions between police and protesters during a news event in a public place.
Minnesota SPJ is encouraged Police Chief Tim Dolan promises an internal investigation and admits that what we and the rest of the public see appears to be an officer overstepping his bounds. We look forward to the results of the investigation. But we hope this is an opportunity for Minneapolis police to again look at their practices, training and preparation to approach the working press with respect. SPJ offers its expertise to the department to further this idea. We remain committed to the principle that journalists ultimately improve the credibility of public servants by portraying their actions and motivations out in the open.
MN SPJ Board of Directors