An evening of peaceful demonstrations in Ferguson, Mo., on Monday against the killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown descended into another night of chaos with police coming "under heavy gunfire" and leading to the arrest of more than two dozen people.And to be sure, among the thousands who have protested the killing of Michael Brown, there have been a few who are there for less than noble purposes. But the fact is, over and over it was clearly shown that there were instances of massive, disproportionate responses from the police. And too often, the media was not—could not—tell that story:
Officials established a media zone — an area designated by crime-scene tape — on West Florissant Avenue near the turmoil last week. The “pen” is designed to enable journalists to view officials’ response to the protesters and rioters, and to offer a central spot for news updates. Reporters were told they risked arrest if they left the designated area.
So, how is that official response reporting working out?
Step outside of the media zone for some on the spot reporting from a residential neighborhood outside the protest area by TWiB's Elon James White, as he and his group are pinned down by police as tear gas and rubber bullets are flying. Says White:
Doesn't even look they're aiming it at protesters … they're just gassing neighborhoods ... It was like they were trying to exterminate roaches ... If they see a human being, they throw a gas canister.You won't be reading that in USA Today.
Intercept reporter Ryan Devereaux was detained this morning while on the ground covering the protests in Ferguson, Mo. According to St. Louis Post-Dispatch photographer David Carson, who witnessed the apprehension, Ryan and a German reporter he was with were both taken into custody by members of a police tactical team. They were handcuffed and placed in a wagon, and Carson was told they were being taken to St. Louis County jail. [...]Oh, and one more thing:
At a press conference early this morning, Missouri Highway Patrol Capt. Ron Johnson told reporters in Ferguson that 31 arrests had been made, including members of the “criminal element” from “as far away as New York.” When asked by a reporter if any of those 31 had been reporters, he immediately–and falsely–replied, “these people were not journalists that were arrested.”
But he quickly admitted that in the “chaos” of the protests, officers may not be able to distinguish between reporters and other bystanders: “So yes, we may take some of you into custody.
Ryan and Lukas Hermsmeier, a reporter for the German newspaper De Bild, were both apprehended last night—and shot with beanbags and rubber bullets—while attempting to return to their car after a night of reporting. When they were shot at, they had their hands raised in the air and were shouting, “Press! Press! Press!”