St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman said Friday that the city attorney's office recommended against prosecuting reporters for the misdemeanor charge. He said:
"This decision reflects the values we have in St. Paul to protect and promote our First Amendment rights to freedom of the press. At the scene, the police did their duty in protecting public safety. In this decision, we are serving the public's interest to maintain the integrity of our democracy, system of justice and freedom of the press."What? If you watch or listen to the footage provided by Democracy Now! in terms of Goodman's arrest as well as Democracy Now! producers Sharif Abdel Kouddous and Nicole Salazar, they were clearly wearing their Press badges, yet were shoved to the ground, bloodied, and even had their badges stripped from them.
In other words, what freedom of the press? It seems suspiciously like this was done strictly to reduce the publicity of the protests at the RNC. In a blog post at Democracy Now's site, Goodman said:
“It’s good that these false charges have finally been dropped, but we never should have been arrested to begin with. These violent and unlawful arrests disrupted our work and had a chilling effect on the reporting of dissent. Freedom of the press is also about the public’s right to know what is happening on their streets. There needs to be a full investigation of law enforcement activities during the convention.”It's also interesting that St. Paul made the RNC buy insurance covering up to $10 million in lawsuits.
Watch the footage of Goodman's ridiculous arrest below: