Case dismissed

A judge threw out the charges against Amy Goodman on Monday.

Amy Goodman, host and executive producer of Democracy Now, was facing riot charges related to a report she filed earlier this month from a protest against the Dakota Access Pipeline. At a hearing Monday in Mandan, North Dakota, Judge John Grinsteiner ruled there was no probable cause to support the allegations, and he dismissed the case.

The attempted prosecution caused an outcry among environmentalists and free-press advocates. “We are dismayed that a prosecutor has filed charges against Amy Goodman, who was just doing her job by covering protests,” wrote Carlos Lauría of the Committee to Protect Journalists in a statement.

Yet again, this isn’t really a good thing, it’s just a bad thing averted – and only partially averted at that, since (as Jamila Bey pointed out on Facebook) the intimidation effect remains. Other accused journalists also remain.

Goodman is not the only journalist to be arrested this month while covering pipeline protests in North Dakota. Last week, documentary filmmaker Deia Schlosberg was arrested while filming demonstrators who shut down tar sands pipelines in Wallhala. Deia is facing three felony charges, which reports say carry a combined maximum sentence of 45 years in prison.

Maybe she won’t get the same result as Goodman.

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