Democracy Now! Reporters Federal Lawsuit Against Law Enforcement

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Date: 2008

Region: North America

Subject: Political/Economic/Social Opinion

Medium: Film Video


Artist: Amy Goodman, Nicole Salazar and Sharif Abdel Kouddous of Democracy Now!

Confronting Bodies: The Minneapolis and St. Paul Police Departments, the Ramsey County Sheriff and United States Secret Service personnel

Dates of Action: September 1, 2008

Location: St. Paul, MN

Description of Artwork: The Democracy Now! reporters captured police arresting and assaulting protesters on the day of the Republican National Convention

The Incident: During the 2008 Republican National Convention, Goodman Salazar and Kouddous were only three out of dozens of reporters arrested by law enforcement. On September 1st, 2008, the opening day of the convention, Salazar and Kouddous were covering a police crackdown on a street protest. Goodman claimed that while she was making her press status known to the arresting officers, the Secret Service proceeded to rip their credentials from them and continue the arrest.

Results of Incident: Goodman, Salazar and Kouddous filed a lawsuit against the Minneapolis and St. Paul Police Departments, the Ramsey County Sheriff and United States Secret Service personnel challenging the policies and conduct of law enforcement during the 2008 Republican National Convention. In October 2011, a settlement was reached in favor of the Democracy Now! reporters. The settlement includes $100,000 in compensation paid by the St. Paul and Minneapolis Police Departments and the Secret Service. The settlement also includes an agreement by the St. Paul Police Department to implement a training program aimed at educating officers regarding the First Amendment rights of the press and public with respect to police operations, including proper procedures for dealing with the press covering demonstrations.

Source: Democracy Now!