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A Taste Of Denver: Thank God It’s Over (3):

September 1, 2008

 The Arrest and Manhandling of Democracy Now’s Amy Goodman and Associates at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minn


September 1, 2008

Mike Burke:


Democracy Now!’s Amy Goodman, Sharif Abdel Kouddous and Nicole Salazar
Released After Illegal Arrest at RNC

Goodman Charged with Obstruction; Felony Riot Charges Pending Against
Kouddous and Salazar

ST. PAUL–Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman and producers Sharif Abdel
Kouddous and Nicole Salazar have all been released from police custody
in St. Paul following their illegal arrest by Minneapolis Police on
Monday afternoon.

All three were violently manhandled by law enforcement officers. Abdel
Kouddous was slammed against a wall and the ground, leaving his arms
scraped and bloodied. He sustained other injuries to his chest and back.
Salazar’s violent arrest by baton-wielding officers, during which she
was slammed to the ground while yelling, “I’m Press! Press!,” resulted
in her nose bleeding, as well as causing facial pain. Goodman’s arm was
violently yanked by police as she was arrested.

On Tuesday, Democracy Now! will broadcast video of these arrests, as
well as the broader police action. These will also be available on:

Goodman was arrested while questioning police about the unlawful
detention of Kouddous and Salazar who were arrested while they carried
out their journalistic duties in covering street demonstrations at the
Republican National Convention. Goodman’s crime appears to have been
defending her colleagues and the freedom of the press.

Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher told Democracy Now! that Kouddous and Salazar were arrested on suspicion of rioting, a felony. While the three
have been released, they all still face charges stemming from their
unlawful arrest. Kouddous and Salazar face pending charges of suspicion
of felony riot, while Goodman has been officially charged with
obstruction of a legal process and interference with a “peace officer.”

Democracy Now! forcefully rejects all of these charges as false and an
attempt at intimidation of these journalists. We demand that the charges
be immediately and completely dropped.

Democracy Now! stands by Goodman, Kouddous and Salazar and condemns this action by Twin Cities’ law enforcement as a clear violation of the
freedom of the press and the First Amendment rights of these journalists.

During the demonstration in which the Democracy Now! team was arrested,
law enforcement officers used pepper spray, rubber bullets, concussion
grenades and excessive force against protesters and journalists. Several
dozen demonstrators were also arrested during this action, including a
photographer for the Associated Press.

Amy Goodman is one of the most well-known and well-respected journalists
in the United States. She has received journalism’s top honors for her
reporting and has a distinguished reputation of bravery and courage. The
arrest of Goodman, Kouddous and Salazar and the subsequent criminal
charges and threat of charges are a transparent attempt to intimidate

Democracy Now! is a nationally-syndicated public TV and radio program
that airs on over 700 radio and TV stations across the US and the globe.

Video of Amy Goodman’s Arrest:

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