The city of St. Paul will not prosecute many of the journalists arrested while covering the Republican National Convention. This only applies to journalists cited with a misdemeanor for unlawful assembly, MPR is reporting.
The Society of Professional Journalists identified 42 journalists arrested during the convention.
The decision should not suggest any wrongdoing by police as they tried to maintain order, said city attorney John Choi.
"At the end of the day, the police department needed to do what they had to do, which was to control the scene and ensure there was public safety," Choi said.
Mayor Chris Coleman said the city will broadly define journalists and that it is still unclear how many will no longer face charges.
With growing media outlets, it is difficult to ask police to make a distinction between an activist and a journalist, said Coleman.
"There isn't the time at the scene to sort through all those things and determine if someone has just put a Post-it on their forehead that said 'press,' or whether there's a legitimate credential," he said.
The Star Tribune talked to Jane Kirtley, a professor of media ethics and law at the Univeristy of Minnesota, about this situation. Kirtley said that journalists aren't abouve the law, but police shouldn't arrest journalists who are doing their jobs and not interfering with the law.