KSTP wants answers from Minneapolis police over cameraman shoving incident [VIDEO]

Chad Nelson.jpg
Rogue Media
KSTP cameraman Chad Nelson, left, just moments after being shoved by an unidentified officer, right.
During a "Re-Occupy" Minneapolis demonstration on Saturday night, protesters learned from police they would not be allowed to erect tents in Peavey Plaza. After they marched in the street in protest, 12 people were arrested on Nicollet Mall for public nuisance and impeding traffic.

KSTP cameraman Chad Nelson was filming one of those arrests when a Minneapolis police officer violently shoved his camera away, sending it crashing to the ground. The incident was caught on tape.

Now station management is demanding to know why a member of the press was prevented from doing his job.

Nelson declined to comment but his news director Lindsay Radford says she got a call from him just after it happened, around 11:30 p.m. She says that immediately afterward the camera wasn't working and that station engineers are assessing the extent of the damage. She also watched the incident on YouTube.

Lindsay Radford.jpg
Lindsay Radford
"He's clearly shooting video of someone getting arrested. My photographer says he had no verbal warning," she says. "They were standing in the middle of the street, which is public property."

The video seems to show the same officer covering up the digital camera of a protester and then arresting him, as Nelson picks himself up in the background. Radford says Nelson's shoulder and neck were injured in the incident, and that she's requested a meeting with Chief Tim Dolan to address both the incident as well as the larger issue that it raises about press coverage of police activity.

Here is KSTP's own story on the incident, which included a statement from Dolan:

We are reviewing and we have an open investigation. At this time, we do not have even preliminary investigative results on this incident. The Minneapolis Police Department will not support unjustified uses of force.

Press information officer Stephen McCarty says he doesn't know yet if Dolan will agree to the meeting, but that the incident is under investigation by an Internal Affairs lieutenant. He declined to identify the officer involved.

Chad Nelson 2.jpg
Rogue Media
Chad Nelson, left, looks on as the officer arrests another videographer.

While other Occupy movements around the country have spurred altercations between police and reporters, this is a first in what previously seemed to be an attempt by local law enforcement not to attract any unnecessary attention from the media when confronting protesters. In the past, Hennepin County sheriff's deputies waited until dead of night to take down tents at the Government Center.

"Am I surprised?" says Radford. "I'd say more disappointed for my photographer. We're all involved in what's a heated situation and my photographer was level-headed. I would expect that everyone involved in the situation on a professional level to behave that way."

Osha Karow, an Occupy Minneapolis organizer who watched the altercation, says this is further proof that arrests and restrictions on occupiers are a violation of First Amendment rights.

"A reporter for a local media outlet had his camera ripped out of his hands. . . which shows that the freedom of the press itself is not being respected," he wrote in an email.

Protesters are planning to meet again today at 1 p.m. at Government Plaza to protest the restrictions and arrests.

Here's the incident, and below that some video footage someone managed to take inside the paddy wagon:

Previous coverage:



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9 comments
NorthSider
NorthSider

Good thing to know, while I live on the North Side, that the cops are keeping my city safe by throwing down reporters and their camera's. Those Occupy MN people are pretty scary too. Don't worry about the North Minneapolis Murders. They will just go away on their own.

Mort
Mort

Well what do You expect from the SS? They don't hand out candies!

Sometime journalist
Sometime journalist

"This officer's behavior wasn't right, but his bad actions should not reflect poorly on all the officers who did not act in this way.  There were many more officers at that event and around the state/country who have not and would not behave in this way.  Lets focus our attention on the bad apples." How many of that cop's fellow officers will stand up for the right of journalists not to be assaulted while doing their jobs? Cops are the section of the 99% that keep the 1% in power. Until people realize that, Occupy will not change a single thing.

George
George

KSTP should really be linking this 'incident' to Daytons signing of the bill that castrates the CRB oversight of Minneapolis PD.  Of course this would not only point out Daytons primary political bias but also 'bites the hand that feeds' KSTP in the Governors office.......

Tracy
Tracy

Professionalism is needed on both sides.  Cops definitely have many stressors to deal with on the job, but if you can't handle them all and act professionally during intense moments than you shouldn't be a police officer.  

#KnowYourRights 

http://flavorwire.com/274477/f...

Hdbanger13
Hdbanger13

PIGS.. And this is why I don't eat bacon...

swmnguy
swmnguy

The strategy, and even the catchphrases, being used by Law Enforcement against Occupy is consistent nationwide.  This is consistent with reports last autumn of a nationwide conference call between a number of cities and the Secretary of Homeland Security.  It's a national strategy, coordinated out of the White House. 

The main pretexts will be Public Safety, and Sanitation.  The primary tactics will include attacks on all media, legal observers, and people with cameras and other electronics and communications and documentation devices.  Also routine will be ever-changing rules and ordinances, orders to move to another location followed immediately by arrests for blocking emergency routes (while attempting to move, as previously ordered), etc. 

As last resorts, there will be dead-of-night military-style raids, using chemical weapons and overwhelming force. 

As the summer goes on, the State violence will intensify.  The Administration cannot allow Occupy to become a repeat of the 1968 Chicago Convention, and they will use all force necessary to prevent that from happening.  Alternately, we see MoveOn.org attempting to co-opt Occupy, and turn it into a Democratic Party house pet, as the Republicans did with the Tea Party.

It'll be an interesting Summer.

Tracy
Tracy

This officer's behavior wasn't right, but his bad actions should not reflect poorly on all the officers who did not act in this way.  There were many more officers at that event and around the state/country who have not and would not behave in this way.  Lets focus our attention on the bad apples.

The positive of this moment is that by being caught on tape (by a local station even!) hopefully all officers will get the training and support they need to handle these situations in a calm and professional manner.

Props to the camera man and those around for keeping a cool head and showing we can exercise our constitutional rights and not make situations worse!

Well
Well

 Yeah but will fascist anti-first-amendment assholes like this one get fired?  We'll see.

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