Judge John Grinsteiner drops Amy Goodman’s charge in North Dakota.

North Dakota Judge says there was not enough probable cause to charge Amy Goodman.

  • Goodman was reporting for Democracy Now! when Native American were attacked by mercenaries in North Dakota.

  • On September 8, Goodman had a warrant issued for her arrest.

  • State Attorney Ladd R. Erickson changed Goodman’s charge from criminal to trespass to riot.

A bit of good news is coming out of North Dakota after a judge decided to dismiss charges against journalist Amy Goodman. Goodman was arrested while reporting on protests against the Dakota Access on September 3, of this year.

State Attorney Ladd R. Erickson initially charged Goodman with Criminal Trespassing. On October 14, Erickson changed Goodman’s charge to Riot. Today, District Judge John Grinsteiner said he did not find probable cause to justify the charge against Goodman.

Goodman was reporting for Democracy Now when mercenaries hired by Dakota Access attacked Native Americans with pepper spray and dogs. The video recorded by Democracy Now! went viral, forcing mainstream media to pay attention to a standoff that had been going on for months.

The Arrest Warrant

On September 8, a criminal complaint and an arrest warrant were issued for Goodman on the criminal trespass charge. Immediately people saw the scenario for what it was, an attempt to scare other journalists away from a story that has been under cover of a media blackout for months now.

Goodman made it clear that regardless of today’s results, her and Democracy Now! have no intentions of backing off of the stand against the Dakota Access Pipeline.

People continue to stand against  the Dakota Access

Across the country, people are taking a stand against the construction of the pipeline. Halting work for hours any day of the week is becoming a part of the norm, as is water protectors being arrested for making a stand.

Investors behind the pipeline have made it quite clear that they have no intentions of stopping construction. Reports of construction occurring around the clock have come from many areas along the pipeline, showing that not only does DAPL intend on finishing the Dakota Access, but they also plan on finishing it sooner than later.

Today’s outcome for Goodman is a victory for those in the media. Aside from Goodman, at least two journalists from Unicorn Riot have been arrested during the stand against the Dakota Access.

Members of independent media are feeling more censorship than ever over the last year. Countless members of the non-mainstream press have been arrested while covering civil unrest around the country. I was arrested for criminal trespass while covering a small protest in Florida. The charge was a criminal trespass for crossing over railroad tracks.

Suppressing media is nothing new in our country, which is why we must ensure it is not allowed to get any further out of our control.

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Meko Haze is an independent journalist by day... and an independent journalist by night.

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