Following a one-day trial, North Dakota Judge Thomas Schneider ruled that journalist Jenni Monet complied with law enforcement orders while reporting on the demonstration at the Dakota Access Pipeline.
The independent journalist spent a number of months in North Dakota reporting on the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s opposition to the pipeline for many news outlets. She was one of 76 people arrested on February 1, 2017 while covering the police clearing a protest camp.
The judge said Monet didn’t knowingly break the law when police ordered everyone to leave the property and she stayed.
“It’s a great day for journalism and for North Dakota in recognizing the essential role that reporters play in shaping our democracy,” Monet told the Tribune after the trial. “Today the court upheld our constitutional right to press freedom which has never been more important than right now.”