August 2020

Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

Saturday, July 16, 2022

Artist Acquitted After Being Charged for Facebook Post Supporting Line 3 Water Protectors

Matteson supporters stage support at the Aitkin courthouse today against the “Bogus Charges” brought against her (photo: Keri Pickett) 

Artist Acquitted After Charge for Facebook Post Supporting Line 3 Water Protectors
Shanai Matteson Acquitted – Judge Metzen Tosses Case Moments before Jury Trial Begins

It is clear from the evidence that the defendant did not commit a crime”— Judge Metzen

By Cheryl Barnds
Honor the EarthJuly 14, 2022
AITKIN, MINN – This morning at the Aitkin County Courthouse, District 9 Judge Leslie Mae Metzen acquitted Line 3 Water Protector, Shanai Matteson, of Gross Misdemeanor Aiding and Abetting Trespass on Critical Public Service Facilities, essentially finding Matteson Not Guilty before the case was presented to the jury of six selected yesterday.

The fifth-generation resident of Palisade, Minn., cultural organizer, artist and mother of two young children faced up to one year in jail and thousands of dollars in fines.

Matteson was charged – by mail – after police surveilled her personal Facebook page where she made comments about opposing Line 3 construction and supporting protesters along the tar sands oil pipeline.

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