A CNN producer who covered the protests against the police assassination of Daunte Wright was arrested and a police officer asked her if she spoke English, according to a letter to the governor of Minnesota.
Carolyn Sung, the CNN producer, made the allegations in a letter made public by law firm Ballard Spahr. The letter contained several other allegations of police misconduct against journalists covering the protests.
Ballard Spahr is currently being retained by dozens of news organizations, including NBC News, to represent their interests as they cover the murder trial of former Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin and protests across Minnesota following of the police murder of Daunte Wright in the nearby Brooklyn Center.
Sung, who is of Asian and American descent, alleged that while covering the April 13 protests, she was thrown to the ground and had her hands tied before a Minnesota State Patrol soldier asked her later: “Do you speak English?”
“Sung, whose main language is English, was put on a prisoner transport bus and sent to Hennepin County Jail, where she was patted and searched by a policewoman who put her hands in the pants. of Sung and in her bra, fingerprints, The body was electronically scanned and ordered to undress and put on an orange uniform before the lawyers working for her could locate her and secure her release, a process that has took over two hours, ”the letter said.
“The purpose of the letter was to make state officials aware of the many instances of misconduct and to work towards a solution,” said Leita Walker.
A CNN spokesperson did not immediately respond to an NBC News request for comment.
In the letter, Walker wrote that the news agencies she represents – including NBC News – “are deeply troubled by what has happened in the past few days.”
“The First Amendment is clear: journalists have a solid right of access to collect and report the news without fear of intrusion or interference by law enforcement,” Walker wrote.
In published tweets Shortly after a meeting with news outlets, law enforcement and other stakeholders, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz said, “Journalists should be allowed to safely cover protests and civil unrest. ”
“I have asked our law enforcement partners to make changes that will help ensure journalists do not face obstacles in doing their jobs,” Walz said.
The Minnesota State Patrol and the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office did not immediately respond to requests for comment from NBC News.