In a case that has been widely denounced as an attack on press freedom in the US, Andrea Sahouri, a reporter with the Des Moines Register, is scheduled to go on trial Monday over criminal charges related to her reporting on Black Lives Matter protests last year.
Police in Des Moines, Iowa, pepper-sprayed Sahouri in the face and arrested her on May 31 while she was covering protests against the brutal killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police. Sahouri has said that she repeatedly identified herself as a reporter to police during the incident.
She faces misdemeanor charges of failure to disperse and interference with official acts, and she could be fined and jailed for up to 30 days. She has pleaded not guilty.
The Polk County attorney's office has argued that Sahouri was not wearing press credentials and appeared to be participating in an unlawful assembly, the Associated Press reported.