Kentucky student photographers released

By Jon Krawczynski

ST. PAUL, Minn. – A pair of student photographers from the University of Kentucky and their adviser were freed without being charged Wednesday, two days after they were swept up during unrest at the Republican National Convention.

The three still awaited the release of a friend and the return of their camera equipment.

Police released journalism students Edward Matthews, 21, and Britney McIntosh, 18, as well as their student adviser, Jim Winn, 26. But their friend, Nathan Weber, 25, of Chicago, remained jailed Wednesday on a misdemeanor riot charge.

All were arrested Monday when police swept up nearly 300 people during protests in downtown St. Paul.

Those released said they understood how police could have mistakenly arrested them but questioned why they were held for two nights.

“We are all young people, and in the heat of the moment, I could see being detained,” said Matthews, a senior at Kentucky. “But I don’t see why it had to go that far down the road, for 30 hours.”

The three drove to the Twin Cities from Kentucky, then joined their friend from Chicago. All wanted to document the protests held in conjunction with the Republican National Convention for the experience, not as an assignment.

“To be a good photojournalist, you have to practice what you’re doing and put yourself in difficult situations,” said Winn, a photo adviser to the university’s student newspaper, the Kentucky Kernel. “We thought this was a good opportunity to get thrown in the mix.”

Despite their arrest and stay in jail, McIntosh said she remains committed to pursuing a career in journalism.

She’s a sophomore and multimedia editor at the school paper.

“Overall, it was a great learning experience,” she said. “It was character building.”