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Drone Journalist Faces 7 Years in Prison for Filming Dakota Pipeline Protests


Update: Turgeon was found not guilty on all counts Thursday evening.

A citizen journalist in Morton County, North Dakota is facing up to seven years in jail for flying a drone over the North Dakota Pipeline protests.

In October, Aaron Turgeon was arrested by Morton County Police and was charged with a felony count of Reckless Endangerment, a misdemeanor count of Reckless Endangerment, and a misdemeanor count of Physical Obstruction of a Government Function, according to court documents obtained by Motherboard. Together, he faces up to seven years in court if found guilty. His court case is Thursday.

For weeks, Turgeon (who also goes by "Prolific the Rapper") documented the North Dakota Access Pipeline protests for several Facebook groups that livestreamed and posted photos and videos about the movement. Several of these aerial videos documented police shooting protesters with water cannons and tear gas canisters.

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