The Minnesota Society of Professional Journalists (MNSPJ) and the Minnesota chapter of the Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA) decry in the strongest possible terms the violent targeting and detention of journalists by law enforcement authorities during ongoing protests in Brooklyn Center.
On behalf of news organizations, attorney Leita Walker submitted a letter this evening to Gov. Tim Walz and public safety officials that details mistreatment of journalists over several nights. We support her call for law enforcement to “act reasonably and in a manner consistent with the U.S. Constitution and judicial orders.” And we encourage anyone concerned about journalism in Minnesota to read Walker’s letter.
A free press is vital to democracy, and ordering the press to leave the area, detaining reporters on their stomachs and photographing their faces, credentials and I.D.s is tantamount to intimidation. A federal judge has issued a temporary restraining order against the use of so-called “less-lethal” weapons on journalists, some of whom have already suffered serious injury requiring surgery. We call upon Walz, State Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington and leaders of the Minnesota National Guard, Minnesota State Patrol, Brooklyn Center Police and other authorities to read and respect both the letter and spirit of the federal order.
Let us do our jobs.