Journalist Amy Goodman files suit over RNC arrest

New York-based radio host Amy Goodman is filing suit Wednesday in federal court against officials in Minnesota stemming from her arrest during the Republican National Convention two years ago.

Goodman is host of "Democracy Now!," a syndicated radio and television broadcast. She and two members of her staff were arrested amidst demonstrators protesting on the convention's first day.

Alexis Agathocleous, Goodman's attorney, said his clients were merely trying to cover the protests.

"They posed no threat to anyone and they repeatedly identified themselves as members of the press," Agathocleous said. "(Journalists) truly are the eyes and ears of the public. So any policy or practice of arresting those journalists who are covering protests just flies in the face of the basic freedoms of the First Amendment."

The suit seeks monetary damages and protection from future arrests. It names the Minneapolis and St. Paul police departments, the cities themselves, the Ramsey County Sheriff's Department and unnamed members of the Secret Service.

St. Paul City Attorney Gerald Hendrickson said he hasn't seen a copy of the lawsuit and had no immediate comment. A message left for the sheriff was not immediately returned.

Charges against most journalists were dropped by the city of St. Paul, although city officials said in 2008 the arrests may have been necessary to stem the sporadic violence during the convention.

(MPR reporter Madeleine Baran contributed to this report.)

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