Officials in St. Paul, MN have decided to drop charges against journalists scooped up in September along with rioters near the Republican National Convention. Now the hard part – identifying which of the people arrested were journalists. So, if you were one of the reporters or photographers arrested during the convention, you need to take action to have your case dismissed.
St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman and the City Attorney’s Office announced several weeks ago that journalists who were cited for being present at an unlawful assembly during the Republican National Convention would not be subject to prosecution. But, if you are not regularly stationed in the Twin Cities, you may not have gotten the word. So, the Minnesota Society of Professional Journalists has engaged the nation SPJ to ask media outlets to help inform journalists who were arrested in September.
So far, around 35 journalist cases have been identified and reviewed by prosecutors. However, the Minnesota SPJ believes there might be more journalists yet to be identified.
“You (or your attorney) are encouraged to contact the Saint Paul City Attorney’s Office by contacting Deputy City Attorney Therese Skarda by telephone (651) 266-8740 or by fax (651) 298-5532. You will need to provide your (1) full name, address and date of birth, (2) case number, (3) date of arrest and (4) verifiable information indicating that you are a journalist. If you fall within the announced policy, the Saint Paul City Attorney’s Office will decline to prosecute you and will provide you a letter confirming the same,” the Minnesota SPJ advised.