Prosecutors charged wrong person in assault on Alpha News journalist, suspect still at large

The law firm representing Peterson said prosecutors apologized for their mistake, which “may now be under separate investigation.” 

Minneapolis prosecutors, based on information provided by the police, wrongly identified Lauren Patricia Peterson as the woman who assaulted an Alpha News journalist in August.

According to a document filed Friday in Hennepin County District Court, the charges against Peterson were dismissed because she “was misidentified as the perpetrator and is not the person who committed the offenses charged.”

Peterson was charged late last month with third-degree rioting, disorderly conduct, and two counts of fifth-degree assault. A criminal complaint alleged that Peterson was the woman who attacked Alpha News photojournalist Rebecca Brannon during an Aug. 24 protest in Minneapolis.

In the complaint, police said they used a driver’s license photo and an image from Facebook in the identification process.

“Ms. Peterson has an airtight alibi (camping out of state with family on the date in question with numerous witnesses as to her whereabouts together with receipts, photos and video identifying her location). In  addition, her physical characteristics, including an identifying tattoo, do not match those of the woman in the video, though we can certainly see how it could have been possible to misidentify her if presented with a poor quality image such as that on a driver’s license,” the law firm representing Peterson told Alpha News.

The firm said prosecutors apologized for their mistake, which “may now be under separate investigation.”

The suspect in the assault remains at large.

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Anthony Gockowski

Anthony Gockowski is Editor-in-Chief of Alpha News. He previously worked as an editor for The Minnesota Sun and Campus Reform, and wrote for the Daily Caller.