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Minnesota local media barred from police shooting press conference

Several members of the local Minnesota press were locked out of a press briefing Monday where police in the Minneapolis suburb of Brooklyn Center discussed the officer-involved shooting that left 20-year-old Daunte Wright dead.

The StarTribune and Minneapolis Public Radio both confirmed reporters were barred from entry.

“No one from the StarTribune is being allowed in. Or MPR. I asked the guy his name and he shut the blinds on us,” StarTribune reporter Andy Mannix posted on Twitter.

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Wright was shot Sunday afternoon after being pulled over by police. Brooklyn Center police said there was an outstanding warrant for his arrest at the time.

Reporters were told a press conference was to be held early Monday. But after waiting for an hour, several local reporters said they were not allowed in.

“It's looking like they are not going to let many of us in. The StarTribune is being denied access. We've been sitting here for an hour,” Mannix wrote.

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StarTribune managing editor and VP Suki Dardarian confirmed that two out of three of her journalists, a photographer and writer, were barred from entering the conference. A StarTribune video reporter was let in.

“We have reached out to the city with our concerns and have not heard back as of yet,” Dardarian said.

“The chief indicated a commitment to transparency,” she added. “That begins with letting us in after inviting us to a press conference. And it would include allowing us to ask questions after sharing his statement.”

A spokesperson for the Brooklyn Center Police Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill.

In an article about the developing situation, the StarTribune detailed who was not allowed access to the briefing.

 

Minneapolis Public Radio also confirmed its reporters were prevented from attending the press conference.

“Credentialed MPR News journalists were not granted access to today’s press conference in Brooklyn Center. Direct access to official information is critical to full and accurate reporting, so we are hopeful that future press conferences are made accessible to all credentialed journalists,” an MPR spokesperson said via email.

Wright’s shooting comes during the ongoing trial of former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin, who is charged in last year’s death of George Floyd, which set off mass demonstrations and racial unrest across the country.