Amy Goodman sues local cops, cities over RNC arrest

Amy Goodman, host of Democracy Now,  filed a lawsuit against city and state officials Wednesday, accusing police of wrongfully arresting her during the Republican National Convention two years ago.

Goodman and two of her staffers were arrested during the first day of the convention while covering a peace demonstration in downtown St. Paul. The suit seeks monetary damages and protection from future arrests.

"They posed no threat to anyone and they repeatedly identified themselves as members of the press," Alexie Agathocleous, Goodman's attorney, told MPR. "[Journalists] truly are the eyes and ears of the public. So any policy or practice of arresting those journalists who are covering protests just flies in the face of the basic freedoms of the First Amendment."

Agathocleous's characterization jives with our experience.

During the RNC, St. Paul transformed into a transient militarized zone. At behest of the party of "small government," law enforcement agencies spied on peaceful protest groups during the lead-up to the RNC, conducted multiple house raids once it rolled into town, and on the last night of the convention orchestrated a dragnet that swept up dozens of credentialed journalists, including (full disclosure) the author of this post.

Here's a video clip made by one of Goodman's staffers as heavily armed cops charged her down:

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