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Charges against Amy Goodman Dismissed
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North Dakota pipeline

Summary: A judge in North Dakota saw no evidence backing up a charge for rioting while covering the attacks on protestors of the Dakota Access pipeline.

Award-winning journalist Amy Goodman was at the front lines covering attacks on Native American-led anti-pipeline protestors. Her involvement made her a target by local authorities but a judge saw through the riot charges, refusing to authorize them against Goodman.

  
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North Dakota District Judge John Grinsteiner found no probable cause for the charges filed by State Attorney Ladd R. Erickson. He had already tried to press criminal trespass charges on Goodman but withdrew them and in return presented the riot charges.

Read Sandpiper Pipeline is a Go.

Goodman said, “This is a complete vindication of my right as a journalist to cover the attack on the protestors, and of the public’s right to know what is happening with the Dakota Access pipeline. We will continue to report on this epic struggle of Native Americans and their non-Native allies taking on the fossil fuel industry and an increasingly militarized police in this time when climate change threatens the planet.”

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Her reporting for Democracy Now on the protests in North Dakota concerned the pipeline project that has encountered months of resistance from the Standing Rock Sioux tribe. The Tribe is concerned about what will happen if there is a spill while the pipeline company claims that it will be the safest one. She filmed security guards using pepper spray and unleashing their dogs against the protestors. A dog was seen with blood dripping from its mouth and nose. The video was viewed over 14 million times on Facebook and was rebroadcast on other outlets like CBS, MSCBC, NBC, NPR, CNN, and the Huffington Post.

See Daryl Hannah Arrested for Pipeline Protest.



Authorities issued a criminal complaint and warrant for the trespassing charge. Goodman traveled back to North Dakota to turn herself in when they dropped those charges and presented the new ones. Her attorney, Reed Brody, said, “These shifting changes were a transparent attempt by the prosecutor to intimidate Amy Goodman and to silence coverage of the resistance to the pipeline. Fortunately, these bully tactics didn’t work and the freedom of the press has prevailed.”

Do you think journalist go too far in their reporting? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.

To learn more about other controversial pipeline issues, read Obama Moves to Block Drilling in Alaska.

Photo: heavy.com



 

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