Minnesota police have promised not to detain and rough up reporters covering protests over the police shooting of Duante Wright, after reporters were detained, pepper-sprayed, and forced to lie face-down on Friday.
The Minnesota State Patrol also agreed to stop photographing journalists and their credentials, and said it would no longer limit the places reporters can cover the demonstrations from.
The statement was released after state police and officers from eight other law-enforcement agencies were criticised by media organisations, including Reuters, for their treatment of journalists at the protests.
Eight law enforcement agencies have been working together in an operation known as Safety Net, policing the protests, in the Minneapolis suburb Brooklyn Centre.
But the American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota said the actions of some officers has gone "beyond unlawful detention, to include outright retaliatory assault" against journalists working to inform the public - a role protected against government interference by the US Constitution.
The events led several media organisations to ask Minnesota's governor Tim Walz to intervene, and a meeting was called between media and law enforcement organised by Walz.
On Twitter he said he hoped it would 'determine a better path forward to protect the journalists covering civil unrest".
Journalists must be allowed to safely cover protests and civil unrest. I’ve directed our law enforcement partners to make changes that will help ensure journalists do not face barriers to doing their jobs. https://t.co/r4s2VpGp0C— Governor Tim Walz (@GovTimWalz) April 18, 2021
The police obstruction of journalists came even after a US District Court judge issued a temporary restraining order on Friday, forbidding them from arresting, threatening to arrest, or using physical force against journalists.
"Following feedback from media, and in light of a recent temporary restraining order filed in federal court, MSP will not photograph journalists or their credentials," the Minnesota State Patrol statement said.
"In addition, MSP will no longer include messaging at the scene advising media where they can go to safely cover events. While journalists have been detained and released during enforcement actions after providing credentials, no journalists have been arrested," the statement said.
It also said journalists would be exempt from general dispersal orders issued to demonstrators, and that state police were banned from using chemical spray against media.
"All journalists must be allowed to report the news in the public interest without fear of harassment or harm, wherever they are," Reuters said in a statement.
The protests erupted after Wright was killed during a traffic stop on Sunday in Brooklyn Center. Police officer Kimberly Potter, who turned in her badge on Tuesday, has been charged with manslaughter.
Tensions in the area are running high as the trial of former Minneapolis policeman Derek Chauvin nears an end, with closing arguments scheduled for Monday.
Chauvin is charged with second-degree murder for his part in the deadly arrest last May of George Floyd.