Monday, August 18, 2014

Cops in Ferguson Detain Journalists, Threaten to Shoot Cameraman, Mace Reporter

Posted By on Mon, Aug 18, 2014 at 9:00 AM

click to enlarge A reporter for KARG Argus Radio films from on top of a car in Ferguson. - DANNY WICENTOWSKI
  • Danny Wicentowski
  • A reporter for KARG Argus Radio films from on top of a car in Ferguson.

As armed protesters facing off with heavily militarized security forces continue to clash in nightly violence in Ferguson, journalists on the scene are increasingly coming under threat of arrest or injury from police officers.

With tens of thousands of people watching via live stream, a police officer threatened to shoot a reporter filming police efforts to quell an increasingly violent protest in Ferguson Sunday night.

Off camera, the officer barks at the KARG Argus Radio cameraman: "Get that light off. Get the fuck out of here, or you're getting shot with this," referring, apparently, to the firearm he's carrying.

See all Riverfront Times coverage of Michael Brown and Ferguson.

Here's the video: The police captain liaising between police and the media steps in to explain that officers need camera lights turned off behind the front line for their own protection, but he declines to give the name of the officer who threatened the radio station reporter. KARG Argus Radio, run by a handful of volunteers, started live streaming video for the first time this week, offering hundreds of thousands of people front-line access to the unrest and chaos that's gripped Ferguson since officer Darren Wilson shot and killed unarmed teen Michael Brown here last Saturday. Three more reporters also tweeted they were arrested by police in Ferguson Sunday night. Sports Illustrated's Robert Klemko, the Telegraph's Rob Crilly and the Financial Times' Neil Munshi were detained briefly and then let go. Klemko explains what went down: Klemko kept a little something to remember it by: Chris Hayes was reporting live on MSNBC when a police officer threatened to mace him, yelling, "Media do not pass us, you're getting maced next time you pass us." Why did police threaten Hayes? He answers on air: "Because they're generally hopped up and angry and pissed off and aren't excited there's about fifteen reporters watching what they're doing." St. Louis Public Radio reporter Stephanie Lecci offered this harrowing account from the front lines: Two journalists from the Washington Post and Huffington Post were arrested last week when they didn't leave a McDonald's being cleared by police quickly enough.

Follow Lindsay Toler on Twitter at @StLouisLindsay. E-mail the author at Lindsay.Toler@RiverfrontTimes.com.

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