Friday, October 3, 2014

St. Louis County Police Recording Protesters As Part of Ongoing Investigation [UPDATE]

Posted By on Fri, Oct 3, 2014 at 11:30 AM

click to enlarge A St. Louis County police officer records protesters in front of the Ferguson Police Department. - RAY DOWNS
  • Ray Downs
  • A St. Louis County police officer records protesters in front of the Ferguson Police Department.

Protesters have been recording police since the first day of the Ferguson protests -- and now, the St. Louis County Police Department are recording them as part of an "active investigation" they will give few details about.

Daily RFT submitted a Sunshine Request to obtain the videos made by police officers for three separate evenings in September in which at least one police officer was clearly seen holding a camcorder in the direction of protesters. That request was denied on grounds that the recordings are part of an open investigation into "those arrested during the protests," said Sharon Pezold, a records coordinator for the STLCPD.

When asked for more information about the investigation, STLCPD spokesman Brian Schellman told us that the county counselor will review the question and get back to us. Daily RFT amended our Sunshine Request to obtain the segments of the recordings that do not contain footage of the arrests.

Withholding the tapes doesn't make a lot of sense to some, including Jim Robertson, former president of the Missouri Sunshine Coalition.

"I don't understand why they can't segregate the part of the tape that's directly connected to the arrests and release the rest of the tapes," he told Daily RFT.

UPDATED:

Daily RFT requested the incident report for the investigation. We were sent an incident report that dates back to the time of the Michael Brown shooting. The report notes the incident as a "civil disturbance" with the victim as the "State of Missouri" and we're told this incident covers investigations of all protests.

Sunshine Request Response for Incident Report on Protester Investigation

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E-mail him at Ray.Downs@RiverfrontTimes.com.

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