Tuesday, September 2, 2008

St. Paul police arrest member of the media at RNC

email Keith Olbermann at Countdown on MSNBC and ask if he will cover this story: countdown@msnbc.com

cosign a public letter demanding that press intimidation cease immediately, and that all charges be dropped. It will be delivered immediately to St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman, the RNC Host Committee and the local prosecuting attorneys.



(view video of Goodman's arrest)

"Democracy Now's" Amy Goodman Arrested in St. Paul
Monday 01 September 2008
by: Democracy Now!

Editor's Note: "Democracy Now!" host Amy Goodman was arrested Monday afternoon in St. Paul, Minnesota, where she was covering the Republican National Convention. Police seized Goodman as she attempted to defend two "Democracy Now!" producers, Sharif Abdel Kouddous and Nicole Salazar, who had just been arrested on "probable cause for riot." Goodman and her colleagues were held at the Ramsey County Jail, then released Monday night.

Earlier this month, before the Democratic and Republican conventions began, Goodman wrote an op-ed warning of an impending police crackdown in Denver and St. Paul. "Dissent is essential to the functioning of a democratic society," Goodman wrote. "There is no more important time than now." -ms/TO

St. Paul - Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman and producers Sharif Abdel Kouddous and Nicole Salazar have all been released from police custody in St. Paul following their illegal arrest by Minneapolis Police on Monday afternoon.

All three were violently manhandled by law enforcement officers. Abdel Kouddous was slammed against a wall and the ground, leaving his arms scraped and bloodied. He sustained other injuries to his chest and back. Salazar's violent arrest by baton-wielding officers, during which she was slammed to the ground while yelling, "I'm Press! Press!," resulted in her nose bleeding, as well as causing facial pain. Goodman's arm was violently yanked by police as she was arrested.

On Tuesday, Democracy Now! will broadcast video of these arrests, as well as the broader police action. These will also be available on: www.democracynow.org.

Goodman was arrested while questioning police about the unlawful detention of Kouddous and Salazar who were arrested while they carried out their journalistic duties in covering street demonstrations at the Republican National Convention. Goodman's crime appears to have been defending her colleagues and the freedom of the press.

Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher told Democracy Now! that Kouddous and Salazar were arrested on suspicion of rioting, a felony. While the three have been released, they all still face charges stemming from their unlawful arrest. Kouddous and Salazar face pending charges of suspicion of felony riot, while Goodman has been officially charged with obstruction of a legal process and interference with a "peace officer."

Democracy Now! forcefully rejects all of these charges as false and an attempt at intimidation of these journalists. We demand that the charges be immediately and completely dropped.

Democracy Now! stands by Goodman, Kouddous and Salazar and condemns this action by Twin Cities' law enforcement as a clear violation of the freedom of the press and the First Amendment rights of these journalists.

During the demonstration in which the Democracy Now! team was arrested, law enforcement officers used pepper spray, rubber bullets, concussion grenades and excessive force against protesters and journalists. Several dozen demonstrators were also arrested during this action, including a photographer for the Associated Press.

Amy Goodman is one of the most well-known and well-respected journalists in the United States. She has received journalism's top honors for her reporting and has a distinguished reputation of bravery and courage. The arrest of Goodman, Kouddous and Salazar and the subsequent criminal charges and threat of charges are a transparent attempt to intimidate journalists.


Democracy Now! is a nationally-syndicated public TV and radio program that airs on over 700 radio and TV stations across the US and the globe.



samoasoftball said...

Wow. What country are we in again?

Carol said...

That is SO WRONG! This is not the country that existed 8 years ago.

Anonymous said...

So Wrong?! Can you be real once in a while Carol?