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posted by LaminatorX on Saturday August 16 2014, @01:58PM   Printer-friendly
from the now-I-see-you dept.

Olga Khazan writes in The Atlantic that police in Ferguson, Missouri, arrested two reporters Wednesday night as protests over the police shooting of an unarmed teenager continued for the fifth day. The journalists, the Washington Post's Wesley Lowery and the Huffington Post's Ryan Reilly, were only detained for about 15 minutes before being released, but the incident provoked widespread outrage over the Ferguson police's increasingly brutal tactics.

Lowery wrote that armed officers stormed a McDonald's in which he and Reilly were working and demanded to see ID. They then told Lowery to stop video recording them, and finally they ordered the reporters to leave and claimed they weren't leaving fast enough. According to other reports, the Ferguson police also demanded that an MSNBC camera man and a local Fox News crew take down their cameras. Police hit the crew of Al Jazeera America with tear gas and dismantled their gear.

"The arrest and intimidation of journalists for documenting the events in Ferguson is particularly disturbing because it interferes with the ability of the press to hold the government accountable. But actually, anyone journalist or otherwise can take a photo of a police officer," writes Khazan. "Citizens have the right to take pictures of anything in plain view in a public space, including police officers and federal buildings. Police can not confiscate, demand to view, or delete digital photos."

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  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Nollij on Sunday August 17 2014, @12:29AM

    by Nollij (4559) on Sunday August 17 2014, @12:29AM (#82170)

    There could be a legitimate reason for that - it's not a common thing to do, so they might have believed you to be a (potential) person of interest in the case, as opposed to just an interested bystander.

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  • (Score: 2) by mendax on Sunday August 17 2014, @06:28AM

    by mendax (2840) on Sunday August 17 2014, @06:28AM (#82222)

    Agreed, and that is what I thought was their rationale, although it's quite unlikely that the perp decided to have his truck rammed by the cop right at the place I happened to be. It just may be standard procedure. Time to start walking around wearing a Guy Faulks mask... or invent a cloaking device, when taking pictures of the police.

    It's really quite a simple choice: Life, Death, or Los Angeles.
  • (Score: 2) by isostatic on Tuesday August 19 2014, @05:26AM

    by isostatic (365) on Tuesday August 19 2014, @05:26AM (#82926) Journal

    So they wandered over and asked "Hi, did you see the incident, could you give a statement", or something like that?