A federal judge has approved a permanent injunction prohibiting the Minnesota State Patrol from arresting or attacking journalists, which occurred when reporters documented the unrest following the police killings of George Floyd and Daunte Wright.

The injunction stems from a class-action lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota in 2020. The State Patrol and the Minnesota Department of Public Safety agreed to settle the case Tuesday. The court will monitor compliance with the injunction for the next six years, according to an order signed by U.S. District Judge Wilhelmina M. Wright.

"We firmly believe in First Amendment rights and the role of a free press in protecting society and upholding ­­­­­­­our democracy," Pari McGarraugh, an attorney with the Fredrikson & Byron law firm that represented the ACLU, said in a statement. "Providing impartial information to the public about demonstrations, protests and other conflicts between law enforcement and the public is at the heart of journalism, and the right to witness and report must be protected and upheld."

The State Patrol also is prohibited by the court order from ordering journalists to stop photographing, recording or observing a protest, making journalists disperse, or seizing or intentionally damaging photo, audio or video gear.

The stipulations also apply to other agencies working with the State Patrol.

In addition to the injunction, the settlement includes a $825,000 payout to journalists attacked and injured by the State Patrol while covering protests after Floyd's and Wright's deaths.

Part of the settlement includes the requirement that all troopers are issued body-worn cameras by June 2022, trained in treatment of media and First Amendment rights and that all officers at protests must prominently display an agency name and badge number readable from 20 feet away, according to the ACLU.

An independent review of all complaints alleging mistreatment during the Floyd and Wright protests also is required. State Patrol policy is also to be amended so that allegations of violations of First Amendment rights are considered serious misconduct, triggering an investigation and requiring a report to a supervisor, according to the ACLU.

"I hope it sends a message to law enforcement that they can't do this and I hope this protects journalists in the future from being attacked for doing their job," said journalist Ed Ou, who was attacked by the State Patrol while he was documenting the Floyd protests with his camera.

Ou and other journalists reporting on the protests were beaten with batons, teargassed, maced in the face and forced to dodge concussive grenades. Ou, who has documented civil unrest in the Middle East and Ukraine, said he hopes the order will permanently change how the State Patrol operates.

"I would much prefer we didn't have to do this and security forces didn't attack journalists," he said. "The State Patrol should respect that when we're working we know what we're doing."

The parties agreed that the settlement would not contain an admission of liability, according to the Department of Public Safety (DPS).

"The ability of journalists to cover civil unrest in our communities must be protected and encouraged," said DPS Commissioner John Harrington. "The hallmarks of this agreement are transparency, accountability and excellence in policing."

The lawsuit against the city of Minneapolis, Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo, Hennepin County Sheriff's Office and former Minneapolis police union head Bob Kroll continues.