MNSPJ to city: Drop confidential source hunt

The Minnesota Society of Professional Journalists supports efforts of the Star Tribune to vigorously seek truth and report it with regard to the questionable practice of Minneapolis police encouraging the use of the tranquilizer ketamine involving people suspected of crime and others.

Efforts by the city to investigate confidential sources who leaked a critical ketamine use report to the Star Tribune go against the spirit of the Minnesota Free Flow of Information Act that protects journalists from revealing confidential sources. The investigation will have a chilling effect on whistleblowers who are sometimes the only access a free press has to the secrets of government malfeasance.

The damage by the city’s inquisition to the free flow of information and government accountability and transparency outweighs any purported or imagined damage to the city’s information security systems.

We urge the city of Minneapolis to drop its investigation of the Star Tribune’s confidential source or sources, abide by the spirit of the Free Flow of Information Act and instead use its public resources for addressing the serious problem of the use of ketamine against suspects and others without their consent.

Joe Spear, president, MNSPJ

Hal Davis, FOIA committee

Fred Melo, secretary, MNSPJ

For media inquiries, contact Joe Spear. 507-317-8073.