Arrest warrant issued against reporter covering protests in North Dakota
An arrest warrant against ‘Democracy Now!’ host and Executive Producer Amy Goodman was issued by the State of North Dakota’s government. Goodman was charged with criminal trespassing, a misdemeanor offense carrying a penalty of $500 fine and/or 30-days imprisonment.
The warrant states that “on or about September 3, 2016, in Morton County, North Dakota, the above named defendants committed the offense of CRIMINAL TRESPASS.”
“This is an unacceptable violation of freedom of the press,” expressed Amy Goodman in a written statement.
Goodman explained: “I was doing my job by covering pipeline guards unleashing dogs and pepper spray on Native American protesters.”
The host had been covering the protests of members of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and their supporters against the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), a $3.8 billion pipeline that would carry about 500,000 barrels of crude oil per day from North Dakota’s Bakken oilfield to Illinois.
As designed, the project plows directly over the sacred burial grounds of the tribe in violation of the National Historic Preservation Act, and could potentially poison the water there according to the Sioux.
During the protests earlier in September, private security guards unleashed attack dogs and pepper sprayed demonstrators that had reached the construction site after they gained access to the area. Goodman was the only reporter on site and covered the whole incident for independent newscast Democracy Now!.
The report went viral and was re-broadcasted by national networks, the real story got to be public knowledge.
Democracy Now! has been covering the Native-American-led protests in depth, and the clashes between private security and protesters. As part of the coverage, a demonstrator showing bite marks and a dog with a bloody mouth were filmed.
Goodman’s arrest warrant was reportedly discovered by attorneys looking into the arrest of Red Warrior Camp protest organizer Cody Charles Hall, who was arrested for criminal trespass on Friday.
Thirty-eight people have been arrested at the protests, Native News Online reports, including Green Party presidential nominee Dr. Jill Stein, who also received an arrest warrant, along with her running mate, Ajamu Baraka, for scrawling graffiti on equipment during the protests.