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Journalist reporting on ND pipeline protest is charged with trespassing

A journalist who captured footage of North Dakota pipeline protesters being confronted by private security officers and guard dogs has been charged with trespassing.

Independent media outlet Democracy Now! reported that a warrant has been issued for the arrest of its host and executive producer Amy Goodman, who is charged in Morton County with criminal trespassing, a misdemeanor.

It follows clashes between protesters and private security guards at the Dakota Access pipeline construction site in North Dakota on Sept. 3, with Goodman’s footage showing bite injuries inflicted on protesters picked up by major national news outlets.

“This is an unacceptable violation of freedom of the press,” the New York-based Goodman said in a statement. “I was doing my job by covering pipeline guards unleashing dogs and pepper spray on Native American protesters.”

WDAZ reports Goodman’s footage has been used by people criticizing the use of dogs by security personnel, and notes that another man from South Dakota has been charged with two counts of trespassing using video footage and photos taken from the scene.

In total, 38 people have been arrested in connection with the protest, which saw members of Native American tribes demonstrate against an oil pipeline stretching from North Dakota to Illinois, amid fears it could impact water supplies on their nearby reservation land.

On Friday, the federal government halted construction of the pipeline on federal land, and also asked the company building it to suspend work on private land, Fortune reports.

The decision came minutes after a district court had ruled against the protesters who were attempting to get construction halted.

 

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