Saturday, April 14, 2018

More than a year later, some journalists arrested at DAPL protests still await trial

Jenni Monet climbed a hill overlooking the Cannonball River to shoot video of dozens of protesters against the Dakota Access oil pipeline who had put up a teepee village and stood with their arms locked in a gesture of determination. Monet was reporting on a police operation to clear the Last Child Camp... then, while walking down the hill to leave the camp at the direction of a state trooper, Monet was herself arrested on Feb. 1, 2017, by a second officer, she said. Monet, who carried press credentials with her, was flex-cuffed, bused with protesters who had been arrested, strip-searched and held for hours with 19 other women in a chain-link cage at the Morton County Detention Center before her release. The charges against her: criminal trespass and engaging in a riot. If convicted of the misdemeanors, she could face up to a year in jail. Her defense: "I was there doing my job." She said she was denied a phone call to her lawyer until 25 hours after her arrest and was detained for more than 30 hours before her release. Monet, who has pleaded not guilty to both charges, is one of about 10 journalists who were arrested while covering the anti-pipeline protests, and one of about half a dozen still facing criminal trials in Morton County, more than a year after their arrests. "Over a year later I still have not obtained my arrest report despite repeated requests," she said. The journalists' arrests in late 2016 and early 2017 sparked calls from press freedom and journalism groups for dismissal of the charges and speedy release of confiscated cameras, recorders and memory cards...MORE

1 comment:

Dave Skinner said...

Too bad I can't hop in the Lear and attend.
When I visited the area last spring, there were a lot of ticked off local people who wanted nothing to do with any press people of any kind, uniformly feeling the coverage was shallow and uncomprehending.