U.S. Press Freedom Tracker

Minneapolis journalist arrested while covering protest

Incident Details

Date of Incident
June 17, 2017

Arrest/Criminal Charge

Arresting Authority
Minnesota State Patrol
Unnecessary use of force?
Status of Seized Equipment
Returned in full
Search Warrant Obtained
REUTERS/Adam Bettcher

SWAT teams move to arrest protesters on Interstate 94 after a jury found police officer Jeronimo Yanez not guilty in the death of Philando Castile in St. Paul, Minnesota, on June 16, 2017.

— REUTERS/Adam Bettcher
June 17, 2017

Susan Du, a journalist at Minneapolis alt-weekly City Pages, was arrested shortly after midnight on June 17, 2017, after covering a mass protest against the acquittal of former police officer Jeronimo Yanez in the shooting death of Philando Castile.

On the evening of June 16, around 500 protesters obstructed Interstate 94 in both directions. As the protest ended, Minnesota State Patrol and St. Paul police corralled dozens who remained onto an exit ramp. 

Du attempted to follow other members of the media over a fence in order to get off the exit ramp but was stopped by an officer. She was arrested alongside another reporter — Minneapolis Daily city editor David Clarey — and detained for nine hours. Minneapolis State Patrol officers seized her cellphone, camera, keys, notes, and laptop, which were returned to her hours after she was released from custody.

Du was being charged with unlawful assembly and being a public nuisance. The charges against her were later dropped.

The U.S. Press Freedom Tracker catalogues press freedom violations in the United States. Email tips to [email protected].