Police In Ferguson Back To Threatening And Arresting Reporters: Tells Them To 'Get The Fuck Out Of Here'
from the wonder-what-they-say-to-protestors dept
The situation in Ferguson seemed briefly like it was getting better last Thursday, but that didn’t last long. Over the weekend, the militarized and threatening police fired tear gas at protestors and continued to escalate the situation, rather than de-escalate it. The governor declared a state of emergency and instituted a curfew — which created some more problems, and resulted in continued protests, but also some looting. In the last few hours, however, things have gone from bad to worse again. Police went back to arresting journalists, including Robert Klemko from Sports Illustrated and Rob Crilly from the Telegraph (who, believe it or not, is the “Pakistan and Afghanistan correspondent” for that paper — now reporting live from… Ferguson, Missouri). While both were quickly released, police appear to be quite aggressive towards reporters. Chris Hayes, the MSNBC TV host reports that he was threatened with being maced:
Riot cop to me just a few minutes ago: "Get back! Or next time you're gonna be the one maced."
— Christopher Hayes (@chrislhayes) August 18, 2014
A live stream from the local radio station KARG (Argus Radio — which is a local volunteer run radio station that has been doing amazing work) caught police screaming, “Get the fuck out of here or you’re going to get shelled with this” while pointing a gun at the reporter. Many reports claimed that he was saying, “You’re going to get shot,” but it’s pretty clearly “shelled.” Not sure it really makes a huge difference.
As you can see from the video (thankfully clipped and uploaded by Parker Higgins), another police officer, “Captain Todd,” claims that the lights from the reporters are the problem, not that that somehow makes it okay to point guns at reporters and threaten to “shell” them (or to arrest them). Meanwhile, Ryan Reilly of the Huffington Post reports that reporters were ordered to “leave the area and head back where we wouldn’t be able to witness anything for ourselves.”
We are being told to leave the area and head back where we wouldn't be able to witness anything for ourselves.
— Ryan J. Reilly (@ryanjreilly) August 18, 2014
All of this really ought to make people wonder: if this is how the police act when they know the world is watching them and live streaming what they’re doing, how do you think they act when no one is watching? The photos from Ferguson feel unreal, but are, in fact, quite real:
— Jon Swaine (@jonswaine) August 18, 2014
The situation has become so ridiculous that Amnesty International has sent in a human rights team, saying this is the first time ever that the group has done so inside the US. Think about that for a minute or two…
— Amnesty New Zealand (@AmnestyNZ) August 18, 2014
And then recognize that the press are almost certainly being treated significantly better than the residents who are protesting.