In the last week, journalists have been arrested while doing their jobs. They have been held at gunpoint, shot with rubber bullets and blinded by tear gas. Over and over again, they have identified themselves as journalists and been ignored, told that it doesn’t matter, or worse.
The board of the Minnesota Society of Professional Journalists condemns in the strongest possible terms the violence and contempt that the Minneapolis Police Department and other law enforcement have shown journalists in recent days and calls on Gov. Tim Walz and city leaders to do the same. Curfew orders that these leaders put in place specifically exempted members of the media — an exemption that law enforcement blatantly ignored Friday and Saturday nights.
Journalists have taken great risks this last week to show this community and the world what is happening in the Twin Cities, without fear or favor. They have done their jobs, even when it meant receiving death threats, having their personal property damaged, or getting hurt.
This country has laws that protect journalists for one, simple reason: Without a free press, we will have no democracy. And then there will truly be nothing left.