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Photographer reports being maced and punched by police, other journalists detained

It came just hours after a court order prevented law enforcement from using force against the news media.
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protest, Daunte Wright, Brooklyn Center

An image from the Daunte Wright protest taken on Apr. 12.

A photojournalist was reportedly maced and punched in the face, while other journalists were forced to the ground while they had their credentials photographed by law enforcement during the Daunte Wright protests Friday night.

Minneapolis freelance photographer Tim Evans said he was sprayed in face with pepper spray by police before being tackled to the ground as he announced himself as press.

"When I was on the ground, I showed him my badge, told him I was press, and he punched me in the face, tore off my badge, and threw it in the dirt," Evans wrote. Images showed another journalist, working for France-based AFP, was also maced by police.

Bring Me The News has reached out to Operation Safety Net for comment on Evans' allegations.

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It came just hours after U.S. District Court Judge Wilhelmina Wright granted a restraining order requested by a group of journalists that prohibited law enforcement from including news media in dispersal orders issued to protesters, and also prevents them from using force and chemical munitions on news media, as well as seizing equipment.

The Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, representing the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, had objected to the motion exempting media from dispersal orders, arguing the First Amendment does not grant journalists such protections.

Others caught up in the police response on Friday night were WCCO reporter Reg Chapman, who was detained and forced to the ground by police while on air, and Babs Santos of FOX 9.

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Similar actions had been taken on previous nights, with a Fox News crew forced to their knees by police at a gas station while police checked their credentials, while a Unicorn Riot reporter said they had their microphone taken from them and thrown to the ground by officers.

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