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Los Angeles Times reporters assaulted by Minnesota State Patrol during unrest, lawsuit says

Two L.A. Times staffers say they ID'd themselves, but troopers continued assault


Los Angeles Times photographer Carolyn Cole is shown moments after she was pepper sprayed by Minnesota State Patrol troopers, according to a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court

Two Los Angeles Times journalists say Minnesota State Patrol troopers trapped them against a block wall and battered them with blunt projectiles, tear gas and chemical spray while they were reporting on unrest in Minneapolis following the killing of George Floyd.

In a lawsuit filed Tuesday night, photographer Carolyn Cole and Houston Bureau Chief Molly Hennessy-Fiske say they were clearly identifiable as press when troopers assaulted them. Cole suffered a corneal abrasion and chemical burns on her eye and skin. A photo enclosed in the civil complaint shows Cole crouched in a brick corner, draped in camera equipment, doused in chemical liquid and screaming in agony. Hennessy-Fiske sustained multiple shots to the legs with projectiles, and the lawsuit also includes photos of her bruised and bleeding limb.

"Carolyn and Molly came to Minneapolis to cover a defining time in American history," said Andrew Noel, one of the Minneapolis-based attorneys representing the journalists, in a statement. "They, like many members of the free press, ended up being illegally targeted by our State's highest law-enforcement agency. It's beyond shocking to see how the First and Fourth Amendments were tossed aside by the State Troopers in this case."


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