BISMARCK (REPORT) — At least five journalists have been charged with engaging in a riot while covering Dakota Access Pipeline protests, an offense that would carry a stiffer penalty under a proposal before the North Dakota Legislature.
The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on Monday, Feb. 13, on House Bill 1426, which would make engaging in a riot a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and/or a $3,000 fine. Currently the offense is a Class B misdemeanor with a penalty of up to 30 days in jail and/or a $500 fine.
Jenni Monet, the latest journalist arrested while covering pipeline protests, said she was taking notes and photos on Feb. 1 as pipeline opponents attempted to establish a new camp on private property.
Monet said she complied with police orders when asked to show her media credentials and was leaving the scene when she was one of 74 people arrested. She is charged with trespassing and engaging in a riot, both Class B misdemeanors.
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