Judge Tosses Riot Charge Against Journalist Covering Dakota Protest

"Amy Goodman, who filmed a violent clash between protesters and pipeline security, faced a 30-day jail sentence, but a judge upheld her First Amendment rights."

"A North Dakota judge threw out a charge against journalist Amy Goodman for 'participating in a riot' while covering a Sept. 3 protest against the Dakota Access pipeline for the independent news show Democracy Now! District judge John Grinsteiner rejected the charge filed by a state prosecutor Monday afternoon in Mandan, N.D.

'This is a vindication of freedom of the press, of the First Amendment, [and] of the public's right to know,' Goodman said outside the courthouse after the judge's decision.

Goodman's coverage included interviewing protesters and pipeline security guards on camera during the clash. Her video showed protesters climbing over a wire fence onto an active construction site. Security guards then used dogs and pepper spray in an attempt to disperse the crowd. The video, shot from inside the construction site, shows one dog with blood on its nose and teeth and an unleashed dog lunging at a group of protesters."

Phil McKenna reports for InsideClimate News October 18, 2016.


"Judge Drops Charge Against 'Democracy Now' Reporter" (AP)

"N.D. Judge Dismisses Riot Charge Against 'Democracy Now' Host" (NPR)

"Judge Rejects Riot Charge Against Amy Goodman of ‘Democracy Now’ Over Pipeline Protest" (New York Times)

"Judge Rejects 'Riot' Charges Against Amy Goodman in North Dakota" (Democracy Now!)

"VIDEO: Amy Goodman Speaks After ND Judge Dismisses "Riot" Charges for Covering Pipeline Protest" (Democracy Now!)

"Charges Dropped Against Amy Goodman–No Thanks to Corporate Media" (FAIR)

"Judge Throws Out Charges Against Journalist Who Covered Dakota Access Pipeline" (Mother Jones)

"Judge Rejects Riot Charges For Journalist Amy Goodman After Oil Pipeline Protest" (Guardian)

Source: InsideClimate News, 10/18/2016