INDIANAPOLIS--Journalist and attorney Abdul Hakim-Shabazz has reached a settlement with Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita, which states that Shabazz is allowed to attend any future news conferences put on by Rokita.
In October 2021, Shabazz was told that he was not allowed to enter Rokita’s news conference that day on robocalls because he was not “credentialed media.” With the help of ACLU of Indiana, Shabazz filed an informal and formal records request to find out what Rokita considered “credentialed media”, but got nowhere. Last month, Shabazz filed suit in federal court. The settlement was reached Monday morning.
The settlement states that “the plaintiff is not barred from future in-person press conferences held by the defendant and will be allowed admission consistent with terms and conditions utilized for other press or media.”
“This a major victory for not only yours truly, but for all the media in Indiana. The Attorney General should have never banned me in the first place,” said Shabazz Monday morning.
Shabazz hopes that elected leaders in the future remember this lawsuit and its outcome.
“It shows that elected officials cannot ban the media from a government news conference or a government news event,” said Shabazz.
In the past, Rokita has referred to Shabazz as a “gossip columnist who promotes disinformation.” Shabazz says he has heard similar remarks from others who disagree with what he says.
“I would argue now that the court says otherwise. Now the Attorney General has said otherwise as well,” said Shabazz.
LISTEN: Full interview with Abdul Hakim-Shabazz