Lawsuit Over Media Coverage in Police Officer’s Murder Headed to Trial
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A Minnesota man who claims he was defamed after the 2012 killing of a Cold Spring police officer is taking his case against two news outlets to trial.
Thirty-eight-year-old Ryan Larson alleges KARE-TV and the St. Cloud Times damaged his reputation when they published statements implicating him in the killing of Officer Tom Decker. Larson had been arrested on suspicion of murder but was released without charges.
The news organizations say their reporting is protected because it was based on public information provided by law enforcement.
The trial, which starts Monday, centers on the "fair report privilege." That protects news outlets against defamation claims when their reporting is a substantially accurate account of a government proceeding — even if that government record turns out to be wrong.