Republican National Convention coverage
As media organizations protested the arrest of four journalists who were released on Monday, three other journalists remained in a St. Paul jail without hardly a word of support.
Hopefully, that will change today.
The journalists are from the University of Kentucky and include journalism students Ed Matthews and Britney McIntosh as well as Jim Winn, photo adviser to the university newspaper, the Kentucky Kernel.
All three are facing felony riot charges, which could land them in jail for up to a year.
They will be charged no later than Wednesday, said jail officials. If convicted, Winn, Matthews and McIntosh would receive a minimum sentence of one year in jail and have to pay a minimum fine of $3,000.
The three had credentials but that did not stop police from treating them like criminals, according to the following phrase on the Kernel, which has since been removed from the article.
Jim Winn was brought to the ground at gunpoint, Carla Winn said, while McIntosh walked around with her hands up in the air and Matthews was sprayed with pepper spray.
Ironically, Matthews was captured in the above photo being drenched with pepper spray, which was taken by Associated Press photographer Matt Rourke, who was also arrested on Monday after he photographed the following photo of a cop pushing a protester’s face to the cement with his knee.
Rourke, along with Democracy Now! journalists Amy Goodman, Sharif Abdel Kouddous and Nicole Salazar were released Monday night, hours after they were arrested with full journalism credentials.
All three were violently manhandled by law enforcement officers. Abdel Kouddous was slammed against a wall and the ground, leaving his arms scraped and bloodied. He sustained other injuries to his chest and back. Salazar’s violent arrest by baton-wielding officers, during which she was slammed to the ground while yelling, “I’m Press! Press!,” resulted in her nose bleeding, as well as causing facial pain. Goodman’s arm was violently yanked by police as she was arrested.
Salazar ended up filming her own arrest in the following video, where police in riot gear arrest and knock down any civilian in their way.
While charges against Rourke were never officially filed, Kouddous and Salazar are facing felony rioting charges and Goodman is facing misdemeanor interference charges because she was asking police to release her co-workers.
Also on Tuesday, Goodman confronted St. Paul Police Chief John Harrington during a press conference about the arrests.
“What is your policy with the press? How is the press to operate in this kind of environment?” she asked.
“Reporters have rights,” Harrington said. He said “if there’s an unlawful assembly or we’re in the midst of a riot,” police announce loudly that people need to leave the area.
“If reporters fail to do that, if they are in the midst of the riot, we can’t protect them,” Harrington said. “It would be very difficult for us in a moment of that kind of chaos to be able to make those kind of fine distinctions.”
If journalists are arrested, Harrington said police try to review their cases quickly and get them released, pending further investigation.
“The fact that a person is a reporter or has a credential doesn’t give them additional rights to commit any crimes, though,” Harrington said. “I don’t know your case, I haven’t seen your video, so I really can’t respond to what you’re saying happened.”
So apparently, Harrington believes photography and videography are crimes.
Here is a video of Goodman talking about her arrest hours after she was released.