New orders for Minnesota State Police have been announced in wake of the recent incident. The Minnesota State Patrol will not pass any dispersal orders for the credentialed press members. The troopers have also been ordered not to halt press members’ photography and to abstain from taking any actions against them.
On Saturday, MSP issued a statement saying that a free and independent press is fundamental for democracy and it is our duty to protect and encourage those journalists who cover the civil conflict in our society.
MSP started photographing journalists along with their press credentials and driver’s licenses when racial injustice and police brutality protests were on the rise. The purpose of this photography was to recognize press members between chaotic protests that sometimes turn into riots. However, some media members say this is authoritarian treatment.
According to critics, retaliatory measures were being used against those journalists who photographed anti-police protests. This issue was taken to court by the American Civil Liberties Union and they got a restraining order temporarily. Wilhelmina Wright, the U.S District Judge, mentioned in the issued order that the First Amendment prohibits any law that violates the press’s freedom.
Other than photographing and detaining reports, police also use chemical irritants spray, shot rubber bullets, and arrested many reports last week during the Minneapolis Daunte Wright protest. In a tweet, Jasper Colt explained the harsh treatment of police against the reporters.
After quickly dispersing protesters in #BrooklynCenterMN tonight, police surrounded members of the media and made us lie flat on our stomachs. They then photographed our faces, credentials and identification before allowing us to leave the perimeter. pic.twitter.com/v3BUHyvWgV
— Jasper Colt (@jaspercolt) April 17, 2021
Some protestors also displayed great displeasure with the presence of the media and supported MSP. In a recent video, it can be seen how the media presence frustrated this protestor, causing him to use obscene language.
According to the MSP statement, only some of the journalists were detained briefly, not arrested. New orders for Minnesota State Police forced MSP to let those journalists go. Moreover, MSP has declared that it will no longer spray chemical irritants on the media members. The Court has also prohibited MSP from confiscating the equipment of reports and forcing or ordering them to stop covering the protests.