US journalist riot charge dropped

By BBC/Evelyne Wareh

A US judge has rejected charges against journalist Amy Goodman, who was accused of participating in a “riot” after filming Native American-led protests over a oil pipeline in North Dakota.

The Democracy Now! Reporter hailed the decision as a “vindication of the freedom of the press”.

The county sheriff’s department did not, however, rule out other charges. Ms Goodman filmed the use of dogs and pepper spray against protesters on 3 September.

Prosecutor Ladd Erickson had said she was “acting like a protester” when she filmed the protests against the Dakota Access pipeline on 3 September.

But Judge John Grinsteiner said there was no cause for the charge.

The Dakota Access oil pipeline project, which will cross four states, has drawn huge protests. Native Americans have halted its construction in North Dakota, saying it will desecrate sacred land and damage the environment.

Earlier this month US actress Shailene Woodley was arrested at a construction site for broadcasting the North Dakota protests on Facebook.

The video by the Divergent star was viewed more than 2.4 million times on social media within hours of being posted.


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