Democracy Now! sues over 2008 arrests

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Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman and two of her producers filed a federal lawsuit over their arrests during the 2008 Republican National Convention. The journalists were among some 40 reporters arrested as they covered street protests outside the convention hall in St. Paul, Minn., and they allege that authorities violated their First Amendment rights to gather news independently. They also seek compensatory and punitive monetary damages for medical expenses and lost equipment, according to the Associated Press. Defendants in Goodman vs. St. Paul include the cities and police departments of St. Paul and Minneapolis, the Ramsey County Sheriff and unidentified Secret Service personnel. “We shouldn’t have to get a record to put things on the record,” Goodman said. “This is not only a violation of freedom of the press but a violation of the public’s right to know. When journalists are arrested, that has a chilling effect on the functioning of a democratic society.” The Center for Constitutional Rights and co-counsel De Leon & Nestor and Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP, are representing the Democracy Now! team in the suit.