Four days after police gunned down an unarmed 18-year old in Ferguson, Missouri, all hell broke loose
on Wednesday night, as police yet again escalated their response to demonstrators protesting the killing of Michael Brown. And now in addition to launching rubber bullets, tear gas, stun grenades and smoke bombs into the crowds, police, apparently no longer satisfied with just blocking access and enacting no-fly zones, are arresting journalists
The Huffington Post's Ryan J. Reilly and the Washington Post's Wesley Lowery were arrested Wednesday evening ... SWAT officers roughed up the reporters inside a McDonald's, where both journalists were working. Reilly snapped a photo, prompting cops to request his identification. [...]
"They essentially acted as a military force. It was incredible," Reilly said.
And what happened after their arrest
should raise questions on the legitimacy of every
arrest that's been made during the course of these protests:
Once at the station, we were processed, our pockets emptied. No mug shots. They removed our restraints and put us in a holding cell ... Then the processing officer came in ... And the officer said we were both free to go. We asked to speak to a commanding officer. We asked to see an arrest report. No report, the officer told us, and no, they wouldn’t provide any names.
And it wasn't
Antonio French, a St. Louis elected official who had been providing frequent updates about the protests and police action in Ferguson, Mo., was arrested late Wednesday for unlawful assembly.
Apparently anyone with a voice is fair game. According to French's wife, he was "ordered out of his car and arrested because he 'didn't listen.'" Which in Ferguson, as we learned last Saturday, can get you killed.
In other developments, Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson said that:
... a St. Louis County coroner's report has not been released due, in part, to concerns that releasing certain details--such as the exact number of gunshot wounds on Brown's body--could taint possible witness testimony.
Yes, an official autopsy report, detailing the number of bullets that slammed into Michael Brown's body and from what distance might "taint" witness testimony on how many times Brown was shot and from where. Either that or it will taint the spin Ferguson police have been peddling since Michael Brown was killed. Oh, and speaking of reports, Police Chief Jackson is now claiming that the officer who shot Michael Brown was injured and taken to the hospital that day because his "face was swollen." How about releasing that report?