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The individual Plaintiffs are journalists, photographers, and other members of the press who bring this lawsuit on behalf of themselves and other similarly situated individuals….
On May 25, 2020, George Floyd died as a result of an encounter with four officers of the Minneapolis Police Department, including then-officer Derek Chauvin. Plaintiffs commenced this lawsuit in June 2020 alleging that the State Defendants engaged in a pattern and practice of infringing the constitutional rights of members of the press who were documenting the protests that followed George Floyd's death. In response to the protests, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz implemented nighttime curfews in Minneapolis and Saint Paul, with an exemption for members of the press. The State Defendants allegedly disregarded the press exemption and targeted the press. According to Plaintiffs, the State Defendants threatened, harassed, assaulted and arrested members of the press in multiple incidents over several days after the death of George Floyd. Goyette moved for a temporary restraining order to prevent the State Defendants from further violating the constitutional rights of the press. The Court denied the motion without prejudice because the protests had quelled and Goyette failed to demonstrate an imminent threat of harm.
Recently, additional protests have occurred in Minnesota in connection with the now-ongoing trial of Derek Chauvin. On April 11, 2021, a Brooklyn Center police officer shot and killed Daunte Wright, which led to additional ongoing protests. Plaintiffs allege that the State Defendants continue to violate the constitutional rights of the members of the press who are covering these protests.
Plaintiffs allege several examples, including the police firing rubber bullets at a videographer who was a safe distance from other protestors, orders directing the press to disperse despite the curfew orders expressly exempting the press, and various other acts impeding the press's ability to observe and report about the protests and law enforcement's interactions with protestors….
The court granted the following temporary restraining order, to last (at least initially) for 14 days:
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