Judge Declines Approval for Riot Charges Against Democracy Now Activist Amy Goodman

Just breaking now from the Bismarck Tribune:

A judge at Morton County Courthouse has declined to sign off on the complaint against Democracy Now journalist Amy Goodman, who reported on a clash between pipeline protesters and private security in September.

“It was never a case. The trespass charge was frivolous,” said Goodman’s attorney, Tom Dickson.

A misdemeanor criminal trespass charge against Amy Goodman was dropped Monday morning, but the prosecutor had filed a new charge of participating in a riot.

Dickson expressed satisfaction with the judge’s action.

“It redeems the legal system,” he said.

Goodman was originally charged with trespassing. You can see the paperwork for that below. Over the weekend State’s Attorney Ladd Erickson told me that he was changing the charges from trespassing to engaging in a riot, mostly because he wasn’t sure he could make the trespassing case.

I’m interested in seeing the evidence the judge rejected. If the judge is giving Goodman a pass just because she’s a journalist – from what I’ve heard she was there organizing and inflaming the protesters not just reporting – then that’s bunk. Calling yourself a journalist isn’t a shield against culpability for illegal activities.

But if the state didn’t have the evidence make that case, so be it.

If I find anything interesting in the evidence the state presented, and saw dismissed, for the riot charge I’ll post about it.

UPDATE: From my colleague Mike Nowatzki, there was a heavy #NoDAPL presence at the Morton County courthouse in support of Goodman:

Also – and you can’t make this stuff up – more arrests outside the courthouse as protesters apparently refuse to heed law enforcement direction to stay off the road:

Here’s the documents for the original trespassing charge:

[scribd id=327918471 key=key-SWVekGt4e3izIa22NytM mode=scroll]

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and host of the Plain Talk Podcast which you can subscribe to by clicking here.

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