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My Letter to ND State Attorney, Ladd Erickson on Dropping Charge Against Amy Goodman

October 16, 2016

From: Nomi Prins, Author, investigative Journalist, Concerned American Citizen

To: North Dakota State Attorney Ladd R. Erickson, McLean County,

Subject: Riot Charge Against Prize-Winning Independent Journalist, Amy Goodman

Dear North Dakota State Attorney Ladd R. Erickson:

Since you were first elected North Dakota’s State Attorney in 2002, and subsequently re-elected in 2006, 2010 and 2014, you have prosecuted numerous cases based on a multitude of charges. 

The case you are attempting to bring against Democracy Now! host, and award-winning veteran independent journalist, Amy Goodman is simply a miscarriage of the justice that you have been elected to uphold.  It is a case unworthy of your stated responsibilities to protect the public. It is a case that flies in the face of the critical freedoms that we Americans hold dear.

Levying a riot charge against an experienced, professional journalist for the act of doing her job of informing the public about unfolding facts is not justice. As you know, it is legally immaterial whether you interpret those facts about the Dakota Access Pipeline as indicative of your own personal views or not. In addition, in light of the video that Amy Goodman shot, and that was distributed throughout global media platforms, it is simply illogical to conclude she wasn’t conducting on-the-ground reporting, the very essence and definition of journalism.

Further, your riot charge against her violates the intent and stated purpose of the first amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America. "Congress shall make no law...abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.”  

Freedom of the press and of free speech is a core value, principle and governing law of our country. Amy Goodman has committed no crime. You, sir, have the opportunity to do the honorable thing and to uphold that law. Thus, I urge you to reconsider dropping the charge.

I further urge you, District Judge John W. Grinsteiner, to dismiss the riot charge.


Nomi Prins  

CC: District Judge John W. Grinsteiner,


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