By WCCO-TV Staff

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minnesota State Patrol troopers received a lesson on how to treat the media Thursday, along with a reminder that Minnesota’s laws protect them.

The training was part of a $825,000 settlement after troopers arrested multiple journalists covering riots in May and June 2020. The training emphasized how troopers should interact with anyone who has a camera — people who ultimately have the right to film officers doing their jobs.

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“Journalists are out there to inform the public. That is service that we provide, to serve and inform, that’s why it’s so critical that the rights, the first amendment rights of journalists need to be protected,” Mickey Osterreicher, general counsel for the National Press Photographers Association, said. He provided the training for the sessions.

State Patrol troopers will also be required to wear body cameras as a part of the settlement.

“The unprecedented civil unrest over the past two years was difficult for all involved, including media and law enforcement,” Col. Matt Langer, chief of the Minnesota State Patrol, said. “The State Patrol always learns from these incidents and looks for ways to help us better serve the community and work with media in their coverage efforts.”

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Members of the media were invited to attend sessions, and WCCO’s Esme Murphy and Jennifer Mayerle were on hand for Thursday’s session. (You can see their recap in the video above.)

Meanwhile, the ALCU reminded that an enhanced process for journalists who were injured by officers while covering the George Floyd or Daunte Wright protests is now in effect.

“We encourage every journalist harmed by the Minnesota State Patrol, whether you were arrested, assaulted, had your gear seized, or otherwise prevented from doing your job to submit a complaint and hold the State Patrol accountable for trampling on the First Amendment,” ACLU-MN legal director Teresa Nelson said. “The media must be free to report on protests and law enforcement’s conduct rather than being met with violence and threats.”

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More information is available here. The deadline for journalists to submit a complaint is Oct. 19.