Members of the media were detained and injured by law enforcement on Saturday night, sparking criticism and prompting an apology from Gov. Tim Walz.
“It is unacceptable. ... I take full responsibility for that and won’t equivocate no matter how difficult the environment,” he said at a news conference Sunday.
The State Patrol is also reviewing the incidents and its training protocols to prevent similar interactions, and the Minnesota Society of Professional Journalists condemned the violence. The Minnesota Department of Public Safety issued new guidance to journalists to wear visible credentials that can be seen from 4 feet away.
State and local officials had vowed to crack down on people violating an 8 p.m. curfew from which media are exempt. A WCCO-TV cameraman was arrested Saturday night while covering the Minneapolis protests despite video showing him identifying himself as a member of the press.
A Los Angeles Times reporter said in a video posted to Twitter that the Minnesota State Patrol fired tear gas at a group of journalists near the Fifth Precinct building at “point blank range,” while a national correspondent for CBS said a sound engineer with him was hit with a projectile while reporting 500 feet away from demonstrators, with their credentials displayed.
Two Star Tribune reporters were struck by projectiles on Saturday. In one incident Saturday night, a projectile pierced the passenger side of the reporter’s car window near Lake Street and Chicago Avenue S., shattering the glass, which cut his face and arm.
Another reporter, whose car tires were slashed, was walking home and said he was forced to the ground at gunpoint for 20 minutes as a guard convoy came through.
Walz said he will work to make changes so such clashes don’t continue.
“It is critically important that I maintain or restore [the media’s] trust and the necessity of them being out there to tell the story,” he said.
Minnesota Corrections Commissioner Paul Schnell called the incidents “regrettable” late Saturday but said the tactics used by agitators and widespread use of masks by journalists, law enforcement and rioters presented challenges for authorities.
Mara Klecker • 612-673-1707
Torey Van Oot • 612-673-7299