ON AIR NOW

LISTEN NOW

Weather

Sponsored By: Two Men and a Truck
cloudy-day Created with Sketch.
75°
Partly Cloudy
H 94° L 76°
  • cloudy-day Created with Sketch.
    75°
    Current Conditions
    Partly Cloudy. H 94° L 76°
  • cloudy-day Created with Sketch.
    90°
    Afternoon
    Partly Cloudy. H 94° L 76°
  • cloudy-day Created with Sketch.
    89°
    Evening
    Partly Cloudy. H 94° L 76°
LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest top stories

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest traffic report

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest forecast

00:00 | 00:00

National
Ferguson protests: Why police are arresting journalists
Close

Ferguson protests: Why police are arresting journalists

Ferguson protests: Why police are arresting journalists
Photo Credit: Jeff Roberson / AP
Getty Images photographer Scott Olson is arrested while covering demonstrators Aug. 18, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo.

Ferguson protests: Why police are arresting journalists

"Here, in the United States of America, police should not be bullying or arresting journalists who are just trying to do their jobs and report to the American people on what they see on the ground."

That was President Barack Obama the day after two journalists were arrested while covering protests in Ferguson, Missouri. Since that day, stories of journalists being arrested or otherwise caught up in the clashes between police and protesters have been pouring in.

Scott Olson, the photographer responsible for one of the most iconic images to come out of the protests so far, was arrested Monday.

Also Monday, two reporters working for a German newspaper were arrested. One of them, a veteran who has reported from Gaza, Iraq and China, said Ferguson was the first place he'd been arrested and "treated rudely by the police." 

>> SPECIAL SECTION: Social unrest in Ferguson, Missouri

And a reporter for The Telegraph was arrested Sunday along with reporters from Sports Illustrated and the Financial Times. They were all released less than 10 minutes later. 

According to Capt. Ron Johnson of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, it's a matter of not being able to tell who's a reporter and who's not.

"We're not sure who's a journalist and who's not. And yes, if I see someone with a $50,000 camera on his shoulder, I'm pretty sure. But some journalists are walking around and all you have is a cell phone because you're from a small media outlet."

A KMOV reporter from St. Louis pointed out a further wrinkle Monday night, saying, "The role of 'citizen journalists' has been interesting to watch in Ferguson – an unfamiliar topic to many cops I've talked to."

Some journalists have their own theories, though: like that the police are intentionally targeting reporters.

>> Read more trending stories

Max Fisher at Vox says police arrest journalists in order to make a political statement about their authority, adding, "Intimidation of journalists in Ferguson is not just coming from the occasional hotheaded cop."

But there are also those, like a writer for Hot Air, who say the situation is more complicated than that, accusing some journalists of trying to get arrested for attention. "In many ways, the media appears to believe that it is an active participant in the events in Missouri."

Legally, at least, the police seem to be within their rights. A general counsel for the National Photographers Press Association told The Poynter Institute that while reporters are protected by the First Amendment, police can order journalists to move away from a dangerous area, and not complying with the order could lead to an arrest.

Though he also notes that police can't order the media to leave completely, saying, “That restricts far more speech and free press than is necessary to achieve a government purpose.”

That's something that the 48 news organizations that penned a letter to the Ferguson police forces apparently think has been happening — citing their concern for journalistic freedom and asking for increased transparency from law enforcement. 

Read More
VIEW COMMENTS

There are no comments yet. Be the first to post your thoughts. or Register.

The Latest News Headlines

  • Thousands of residents in a north London housing complex were evacuated from their apartments Friday night after fire checks revealed the buildings were unsafe, Reuters reported. >> Read more trending news The checks were done in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire on June 14. Residents, along with their children and pets were removed from five tower blocks and headed to a local sports center to sleep on air beds, Reuters reported. “I know it’s difficult but Grenfell changes everything,” Georgia Gould, leader of Camden Council, said in the statement. “I don’t believe we can take any risks with our residents’ safety.” The London Fire Brigade said it had found a number of fire safety issues at the Chalcots Estate in Camden and advised residents to leave the building until they were resolved, Reuters reported.
  • A scare happened at a Leominster, Massachusetts, supermarket after a 4-day-old newborn was left locked inside of a hot car while her mother was inside shopping. >> Read more trending news Mother Sharma Murphy said that on her way to Market Basket supermarket on Friday, she stopped by the fire house to make sure her baby’s car seat was properly installed. Less than an hour later, those firefighters helped rescue her 4-day-old baby, who was locked in her hot car. A shopper called Leominster police after spotting a newborn alone inside a car. It was Sharma Murphy's silver Chevy Malibu. >> A reminder of hot car dangers as temperatures climb Murphy said she was out for the first time with her newborn daughter, 4-day-old Katherine, and was nervous. “I went, I bought it. Came right out and this lady just starts screaming at me. Screaming at me,” said Murphy. Murphy said she brought her newborn inside with her to Market Basket and then returned to the car when Katherine fell asleep. She said that she ran back inside for two or three minutes to buy some baby formula. “I went (in and) I bought it,” Murphy said. “(I) came right out and this lady just starts screaming at me.” Related: Two toddlers dead after 15 hours in hot car, police say Police said the windows were rolled up. “I believe she locked her keys in the car because they had to use the jimmy to get the baby out,” witness John Casey told WFXT. According to WFXT meteorologists, the outside temperature was 84 degrees at the time. Murphy said she didn’t want to wake her newborn. “I thought, ‘OK, if I run in and run out...’ It was one of those things where she's gotta eat because I have nothing left for her and that's when everything happened and I'm like, oh my God,” Murphy said. Katherine was taken to the hospital to be checked out. Her mother said he is fine. The baby is currently in custody of DCF. No charges have been filed.
  • Police in Georgia are hoping surveillance video that captured a violent attack will help them find the people responsible. Video shows a restaurant owner and her teenage daughter being beaten by two customers Thursday afternoon in Baxley, Georgia. >> Read more trending news The victims told police the suspects were unhappy with their order. The verbal argument turned violent when one of the suspects began punching the restaurant owner repeatedly. When the victim’s teenage daughter came out of the car to break up the fight, the male suspect punched her in the face. WJCL reported that Baxley police have issued warrants for the suspects, Nathaniel Smith and Latasha Smith. The pair could be charged with aggravated battery and cruelty to children. The suspects drove away from the restaurant in a cream or tan Cadillac Escalade with tag number REU8495. Officials said they headed north on Highway 144. Anyone with any information about the assault is asked to call the Baxley Police Department at 912-367-8305 or the 911 call center at 912-367-8111.
  • Authorities have identified a 10-year-old boy killed on an Alabama beach this week as Tropical Storm Cindy churned toward shore.  Nolan McCabe, of St. Louis, Missouri, was vacationing in Fort Morgan with his family Wednesday morning when Cindy’s storm surge washed a large log on the beach over the boy. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that Nolan suffered severe head injuries when the log rolled over his body.  Baldwin County Sheriff Huey Mack estimated that the log was about 14 feet long and weighed several hundred pounds, the Post-Dispatch said.  AL.com reported that Nolan was killed feet away from the front door of the beachfront home in which he and his family were staying.  >> Read more trending news Nolan’s father, Joshua McCabe, told investigators that he was also outside that morning, attending to other children playing on the beach. He ran toward his son when he saw a large wave coming ashore, but was unable to grab Nolan before the log was washed into him.  Efforts by family members, firefighters and emergency medical technicians to resuscitate Nolan were unsuccessful, AL.com reported.  Nolan, an avid cub scout, would have been a fifth-grade student at Wohlwend Elementary in St. Louis in the fall. A statement the Mehlville School District indicated that the boy’s parents and sister were all present when he died.  Nolan was the third elementary student in the school district to die since April, the district’s statement said. One boy was killed in a car crash, and the other was struck by a car while riding his bike.  The parent-teacher organization at Wohlwend Elementary set up a GoFundMe account to help Nolan’s family with the expenses related to his death. 
  • A 9-foot-6 inch sturgeon weighing in at 500 pounds was found pinned Thursday in a radial gate at the Keno Dam in Oregon, according to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. >> Read more trending news The fish had sustained a head injury at some point and was dead when officials found it. It is believed to have been one of 221 sturgeons moved in 1958 from the Columbia River to Klamath County. At the time, officials were attempting to create fisheries in the area. However, the fish didn’t take, and officials found no evidence that they were able to spawn in their new homes. “It’s thought the female sturgeon was from the original transplant group,” ODFW said in a Facebook post. “Most of those fish would be from 60 to 70 years old now, with the potential to live nearly 100 years.” District fish biologist Bill Tinniswood said the fish, a female sturgeon, had millions of eggs upon her death. Officials believe that the lack of available male sturgeons to spawn with left the eggs to build up. Two anglers have reported seeing sturgeons on the Upper Klamath Lake this year, Tinniswood said.

The Latest News Videos