Friday, August 15, 2014

Police Misconduct: Ferguson PD Arrest Reporters for Reporting

#MichaelBrown #Ferguson #FergusonPD #Policemisconduct 

There is still a lot of news coming out of Ferguson, MO today as the investigation of the shooting death of Michael Brown by a Ferguson police officer is still underway. Protests are also still underway as outrage is growing due to the police refusing to release any information to the public regarding Brown's death.

Tonight it was reported that the Ferguson PD as ordered civilians and the media to cease recording of police activities while police advance on protestors who have been speaking out against the slaying of Brown and the denial of information. Police have already arrested two reporters from the Washington Post and the Huffington Post today for trying to cover the events that are taking place there.
The two reporters, Wesley Lowery and Ryan Reilly, were at a McDonald's located just a few blocks away from where Brown was murdered. The McDonald's has been described as a staging area for the media who are reporting on the protests there. They say that while working on their reports police came into the restaurant and confronted the two, asking them for ID.

When asked why they had to show their IDs the police, "didn't press the point, but one added that if [they] called 911, no one would answer." The police soon left the restaurant, only to return moments later ordering everyone to leave. It was here that Lowery took out his cell phone and began to record the incident. He reported that the police were giving them conflicting instructions, telling them they had to exit, but couldn't exit from a certain exit.

Lowery then told an officer that he just needed to grab his stuff when they moved in and began to arrest him. He allowed police to handcuff him saying, "I'm not resisting," all the while the police were saying, "You're resisting, stop resisting." Typical fat headed police bullshit.


“Go another way,” he said.
As I turned, my backpack, which was slung over one shoulder, began to slip. I said, “Officers, let me just gather my bag.” As I did, one of them said, “Okay, let’s take him.”
Multiple officers grabbed me. I tried to turn my back to them to assist them in arresting me. I dropped the things from my hands.
“My hands are behind my back,” I said. “I’m not resisting. I’m not resisting.” At which point one officer said: “You’re resisting. Stop resisting.”

The two reporters were then taken to a police van, where they said a large man was inside screaming that he could not breathe. The police of course did nothing about this.
The two men were then taken to a holding cell where they were briefly detained before being released without any charges being pressed or any explanation as to why they were arrested. They were also denied information about the officers who arrested them, refusing to even give them their badge numbers.

Thankfully, these men were able to escape this frightening situation with the police without any injuries. However many other people who were unjustly detained and released were not so luckily, as they were victims of assault by the very people we pay to protect us. Reilly stated that the police who perpetrated these crimes weren't dressed like police at all, but more like para-military wearing camouflage and carrying high powered assault weapons. He said they treated people more like enemy combatants than American citizens.

 Now why on earth would the police not want to be recorded? As Americans we have the right to video record the police in their public duties, just as long as it doesn't interfere with said duties. And besides, how can video recording be interfering with police duties exactly? Also, why are these para-military men barging into public places and demanding to see IDs anyway?

This isn't just misconduct, it's gross misconduct, and all of these people's rights were violated when they were forced to leave an establishment they were peacefully occupying. They had no regard for the US Constitution, and have trampled all over our right to free speech and free press.

As this investigation continues one minor update has occurred. The Chief of Police in Ferguson said he will release the 911 calls made regarding Brown's death. There is no exactly time given for the release, as the chief merely stated it would be released 'shortly'.

There is also an unconfirmed report coming from conservative websites stating that the Chief of Police issued a statement saying that the officer who shot Brown was seriously injured and that the side of his face is swollen. To conservatives this notion "turns the case on it's head", because to them if a black teenager gets into a scuffle with a police officer it's justification for said teenager's murder.

The Daily Kos is also reporting that the governor of Missouri is suspending the Ferguson Police Department from investigating this any further, and has placed in their sted the county and state police, as well as asking the FBI for assistance.  These reports are also unconfirmed.

So remember folks, you have every right to record the police in the daily public duties, and they have no right to ORDER you to stop recording. Sure, they can ask, but denial of said request is not illegal.
Join me in standing up against this type injustice but so-called protectors of the peace. You can call the Ferguson PD at (314) 522-3100, or write them a letter at 222 S Florissant Rd, Ferguson, MO 63135.

I have tried to find the Chiefs email or direct number, but so far no luck as the official website for the police department will not load up.

Let them know that we, the American people, will not stand for this type of injustice as they walk all over our rights and violate the US Constitution itself.


Reporters Arrested

Police Order Civilians and Media Not to Record Them

Daily Kos Report



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