MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- The University of Minnesota student newspaper filed a complaint Tuesday over the alleged police mistreatment of reporters who were covering unruly hockey fans after the Golden Gophers won the national championship.
Police used unreasonable force and infringed on the First Amendment rights of four members of The Minnesota Daily during the April 7 early morning melee, said Mike Wereschagin, editor in chief of the newspaper.
"We feel what happened to the photographers and reporters was wrong and this is the sort of thing police should not do," Wereschagin said.
According to the complaint:
--A Daily photographer was pushed to the ground from behind and kicked in the back. When a reporter went to help the photographer, she was sprayed in the face with chemical irritant.
--Two other photographers were sprayed in the face with a chemical irritant and hit repeatedly with a riot stick.
--Two photographers had press passes displayed in the middle of their chests, and the others told police officers they were members of the press.
"The Minnesota Daily strongly objects to what we feel was the specific and systematic targeting of members of the press by the Minneapolis Police Department," the complaint stated.
Wereschagin said the newspaper is concerned Minneapolis police might have purposely tried to prevent it from documenting the events.
More than 20 people were charged with disorderly conduct or other misdemeanors at the fracas, which began several hours after Minnesota beat Maine 4-3 in the NCAA men's championship in St. Paul.
Two weeks ago, Wereschagin met with the mayor and police chief to discuss the police force. Mayor R.T. Rybak promised an investigation. And Police Chief Robert Olson said, "They're legitimate concerns."
Rybak and Olson each received copies of the complaint, Wereschagin said.
It will take Internal Affairs about a month to investigate the complaint, said Sgt. Mark Osland.
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