Dozens of media outlets jointly signed a letter to Minnesota state officials on Saturday that listed out the infringements on the First Amendment: Harassment, assaults, arrests while covering the Derek Chauvin trial and protests in Brooklyn Center, Minn.
The infringements on the press in Minnesota resemble something you might see in a third-world country, not in America.
CNN’s Miguel Marquez, who’s reporting from the ground, told CNN’s Brian Stelter, “I’ve only seen that in Afghanistan when U.S. forces were trying to control a local population.”
What might have been the most egregious incident (and one previously undisclosed) is that CNN producer Carolyn Sung was wrongfully arrested by Minnesota state troopers last Tuesday night while covering the protests.
Sung was thrown to the ground and arrested by the troopers while trying to comply with a dispersal order. Troopers grabbed her by her backpack, threw her to the ground and zip-tied her hands behind her back. She was then asked if she spoke English (it’s her primary language), and shipped off to Hinnepin County jail.
On Saturday, Gov. Walz vowed to implement changes, and joined a call between state authorities and media reps. He reportedly expressed dismay and embarrassment over the mistreatment of the press covering the protests.
Needless to say, Gov. Walz and other state officials are acutely aware that the eyes of the world are on the state of Minnesota right now, and that they don’t want attacks on the media to be part of the story.