Amy Goodman, a world-respected broadcast journalist, investigative reporter, author, and syndicated columnist, is facing new charges this weekend. A North Dakota State's Attorney, Ladd R. Erickson, has filed charges against Ms. Goodman for participation in a "riot." These charges were filed only after the previous charges of criminal trespass were dropped.
An email sent to Tom Dickson, counsel for Goodman, stated that there were "legal issues with proving the notice of trespassing requirements in the statute."
This followed an email from Erickson earlier in the day where he said that Goodman "was not acting as a journalist."
This email was sent in explanation for the interview he gave to the Bismarck Tribune where he was quoted as saying, "She's [Amy Goodman] a protester, basically. Everything she reported on was from the position of justifying the protest actions."
Amy Goodman released a statement in which she responded to the new charges. "I came back to North Dakota to fight a trespass charge. They saw that they could never make that charge stick, so now they want to charge me with rioting. I wasn't trespassing, I wasn't engaging in a riot, I was doing my job as a journalist by covering a violent attack on Native American protesters." She is currently in North Dakota to appear at the Morton County courthouse on Monday at 1:30 CDT (GMT-6).
The original charges of criminal trespass stem from an incident on September 3, 2016, where Goodman led a news team to a Native American protest against a planned oil pipeline. The $3.8 billion dollar project was slated to destroy burial sites and other locations held sacred by the local Standing Rock Sioux tribe. Her news report was the first look that the world had of the protest. In the video, which reached 14 million views on Facebook, security guards were shown using pepper spray and unleashing dogs on unarmed protesters. The report was rebroadcast on most major American news outlets, bringing attention to what was once a non-issue for mainstream media.