As of now, a state congressman, a Republican is working on a legislation that will deny access to people who have been convicted of protesting. They would be denied rent assistance and student loans. Crimes such as breaking a curfew would also be considered under this legislation.
John Eligon who is a reporter in New York Times tweeted, “When @joshua_rashaad, a Black photographer working for @nytimes, showed officers his press credentials they didn’t believe him & struck him & his cameras. This is an infuriating reality for Black journalists covering protests.” He also tweeted, “To be clear, the police have been wildly inappropriate in Minneapolis area attempting to intimidate & assault all journalists. It’s especially difficult for Black journalists. All this boasting about the land of the free & home of the brave & this is where we are in 2021.”
Joshua Rashaad McFadden said to the Times that the cops surrounded his car while he was inside and leaving the protest and they started hitting his windows using batons. He was then forced out of the car and beaten while the lens for his camera were hit as well. He told the Times, “It was definitely scary — I’ve never been in a situation like that with so many police officers hitting me, hitting my equipment.” He said it was “extremely frustrating” and the police only believed he was actually a journalist once another photographer came out in his support.
On Monday, another journalist from New York Times was left with a red ring by the Brooklyn Center cops who sprayed the reporter’s face with a chemical agent from only four feet of distance. In Minneapolis, a reporter was recognized by a police captain who grabbed the reporter and snatched his phone. Many media outlets wrote a letter documenting this harassment. It said, “When the journalist asked ‘why,’ the officer said: “‘Because that’s our strategy right now.'”
Brian Stelter who is a CNN anchor tweeted on Sunday. He tweeted a letter addressed to Gov. Tim Walz, Commissioner John Harrington, Department of Corrections, and officials from the State Patrol. He talked about police brutality which involved Sung. Sung was trying to exit from a protest on Tuesday and she was called out for not complying with the order to disperse, then she was “thrown to the ground” and violently arrested. The letter said, “Despite repeatedly hearing Sung identify herself as a member of the press and tell the troopers that the zip ties were too tight on her wrists, one trooper yelled at Sung, ‘Do you speak English?'” Sung was subjected to a pat-down which was very invasive at Hennepin County Jail. The letter said that she was fingerprinted, made to strip and wear the orange uniform, and the arrest took over two hours.
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz On Sunday shared a statement in response to these allegations that reporters are being targeted. He told a CBS affiliate, “Apologies are not enough; it just cannot happen. I think we all need to recognize the assault on media across the world and even in our country over the last few years is chilling. We cannot function as a democracy if they’re not there.”