The National Press Photographers Association has been responding to the most recent targeting of journalists on the ground in Brooklyn Center and Minneapolis during protests that have occurred over the last several days as a result of the police fatal shooting of Daunte Wright. NPPA general counsel Mickey Osterreicher, along with various other media representatives, met virtually with Minnesota Governor Tim Walz on Saturday, April 17, 2021, to discuss the treatment of journalists by law enforcement during the ongoing demonstrations in the state.
“As the voice of visual journalists, we are speaking up today against the actions law enforcement has taken against journalists in Minnesota. Our ability to report the news without intrusion or interference is not only guaranteed by the First Amendment, but required for a functional democracy. We urge law enforcement to consider the importance of a free press while continuing their own vital duties in the days to come,” said NPPA president Katie Schoolov.
On Friday, April 16, District Court Judge Wilhelmina M. Wright issued a temporary restraining order directing the Minnesota Department of Safety and the Minnesota State Patrol to cease committing violent and threatening acts against journalists such as kettling, photographing journalists and their press credentials. The order also exempts the media from complying with dispersal orders.
On Saturday after the call, media organizations, including NPPA, sent a letter to Governor Walz, and other state leaders, outlining the assaults, detentions, and other unconstitutional harassment of journalists in previous days. The letter can be found here.
If you have been impacted by these incidents and are a current NPPA member, we are here to help. Please send an email with details of your situation to [email protected].