Amy Goodman & Two Democracy Now! Producers Arrested at RNC Protest

AMY GOODMAN: More than 280 people were arrested here in St. Paul on Monday, the opening day of the Republican National Convention. Among them were several journalists covering the protests in the streets, including three of us at Democracy Now! I was detained trying to question police officers about the arrests of Democracy Now! producers Sharif Abdel Kouddous and Nicole Salazar. Nicole and Sharif were covering a police crackdown on a street protest against the Republican National Convention.


Nicole’s camera captured her arrest and assault by the officers.


NICOLE SALAZAR: Watch out! Watch out! Press!


POLICE OFFICER: Get out of here! Move!


NICOLE SALAZAR: Where are we supposed to go? Where are we supposed to go?


POLICE OFFICER: Get out of here!


NICOLE SALAZAR: Dude, I can’t see! Ow! Press! Press! Press!


POLICE OFFICER: Get down! Get down on your face! On your face!


NICOLE SALAZAR: I’m on my face!


POLICE OFFICER: Get down on your face!


NICOLE SALAZAR: Ow! Press! Press!




AMY GOODMAN: Shortly after, I arrived and was arrested while questioning the officers about Sharif and Nicole’s arrest.


DENIS MOYNIHAN: Release the accredited journalists!


AMY GOODMAN: Where’s the reporters? Sir?


POLICE OFFICER: Ma’am, get back to the sidewalk.


DENIS MOYNIHAN: Release the accredited journalists now!


AMY GOODMAN: Sir, just one second. I was just running from the convention floor.


DENIS MOYNIHAN: You are violating my constitutional rights. You are violating their constitutional rights.


POLICE OFFICER: Sidewalk now!


AMY GOODMAN: Sir, I want to talk to your superior—




AMY GOODMAN: Do not arrest me!


POLICE OFFICER: You’re under arrest.


POLICE OFFICER: Hold it right there. You’re under arrest. Stay right there. Back up. Back up.


POLICE OFFICER: Everybody, you cross this line, you’ll be under arrest, so don’t do it.


CROWD: Let her go!


DENIS MOYNIHAN: Amy, we are going to get you out of here very soon.


AMY GOODMAN: This is outrageous.


DENIS MOYNIHAN: Yes, we have people working on it.


AMY GOODMAN: Nicole has a bloody nose. And I think that Sergeant McKinty said he—they won’t put me on [inaudible] if Nicole’s not there.




AMY GOODMAN: Before I arrived, Democracy Now! producer Mike Burke spoke to Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher about Nicole and Sharif’s arrest. Fletcher was also questioned by a journalist seeking the release of his colleague, Associated Press photographer Matt Rourke.


AP JOURNALIST: …get his gear or get him out?


SHERIFF BOB FLETCHER: Yeah, well, we can talk – I mean, after everything—look, I couldn’t tell you which one he is, and obviously there’s three different mobile field [inaudible].


MIKE BURKE: We have two journalists in there, as well. I’m from the national radio and TV show Democracy Now!


SHERIFF BOB FLETCHER: I don’t doubt you are, and I want to help you in any way we can. But—


MIKE BURKE: One of them, you can see. She—Nicole Salazar is sitting right there.


Are there any protections for journalists who are covering [inaudible]?


SHERIFF BOB FLETCHER: Yeah, I think it will all sort out, if, in fact, there was a journalist in the middle of there.


MIKE BURKE: She’s been covering—we just came from Denver. We covered the Democratic convention.


SHERIFF BOB FLETCHER: I’m sure that we’ll be able to work it all out.


MIKE BURKE: I know, but she’s being detained right now.


SHERIFF BOB FLETCHER: She is, that’s right. And the Minneapolis police officers have detained her, and so I can’t undetain her.


MIKE BURKE: I mean, you are the sheriff?