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Reporters arrested while covering protests in Missouri

Police arrested two reporters, later released, from the Huffington Post and The Washington Post after a confrontation in McDonalds during the protest over the shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed young black man in Ferguson, Kansas. The reporters were recharging cell phones and accessing WiFi and prompted the arrests by video recording the police during their questioning. Reporters are frustrated by the failure of the police to provide details of the young man’s shooting including how many times Brown was shot. (Talking New Media, August 14, 2014, by D.B. Hebbard)

Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, August 14, 2014, condemned the arrests in a press release, “The right to record and report on police activities in a First Amendment right – and one essential to the journalist’s role as a watchdog and guardian of public accountability for law enforcement and other public officials. That it should be so disregarded, particularly after the journalists identified themselves as members of the press, is almost unthinkable – yet it happened, and happened quite violently according to news reports.”

In a statement from The Huffington Post about the arrest of their reporter, Ryan Grim wrote, “Police militarization has been among the most consequential and unnoticed developments of our time, and it is now beginning to affect press freedom.” Grim noted that the reporters were assaulted.

Trevor Timm of the Freedom of the Press Foundation, August 14, 2014, referred to Grim’s statement in describing how local police around the country bulked up with the aid of Homeland Security and emboldened by their fire power are sometimes using excessive force on peaceful protesters and reporters on the scene.

“The right to record and report on police activities is a First Amendment right – and one essential to the journalist’s role as a watchdog and guardian of public accountability for law enforcement and other public officials. That it should be so disregarded, particularly after the journalists identified themselves as members of the press, is almost unthinkable – yet it happened, and happened quite violently according to news reports,” – See more at: http://www.rcfp.org/reporters-committee-statement-arrest-journalists-ferguson#sthash.9Q63HKlJ.dpufv

“The right to record and report on police activities is a First Amendment right – and one essential to the journalist’s role as a watchdog and guardian of public accountability for law enforcement and other public officials. That it should be so disregarded, particularly after the journalists identified themselves as members of the press, is almost unthinkable – yet it happened, and happened quite violently according to news reports,” – See more at: http://www.rcfp.org/reporters-committee-statement-arrest-journalists-ferguson#sthash.9Q63HKlJ.dpuf
“The right to record and report on police activities is a First Amendment right – and one essential to the journalist’s role as a watchdog and guardian of public accountability for law enforcement and other public officials. That it should be so disregarded, particularly after the journalists identified themselves as members of the press, is almost unthinkable – yet it happened, and happened quite violently according to news reports,” – See more at: http://www.rcfp.org/reporters-committee-statement-arrest-journalists-ferguson#sthash.9Q63HKlJ.dpuf
“The right to record and report on police activities is a First Amendment right – and one essential to the journalist’s role as a watchdog and guardian of public accountability for law enforcement and other public officials. That it should be so disregarded, particularly after the journalists identified themselves as members of the press, is almost unthinkable – yet it happened, and happened quite violently according to news reports,” – See more at: http://www.rcfp.org/reporters-committee-statement-arrest-journalists-ferguson#sthash.9Q63HKlJ.dpuf
“The right to record and report on police activities is a First Amendment right – and one essential to the journalist’s role as a watchdog and guardian of public accountability for law enforcement and other public officials. That it should be so disregarded, particularly after the journalists identified themselves as members of the press, is almost unthinkable – yet it happened, and happened quite violently according to news reports,” – See more at: http://www.rcfp.org/reporters-committee-statement-arrest-journalists-ferguson#sthash.9Q63HKlJ.dpuf
“The right to record and report on police activities is a First Amendment right – and one essential to the journalist’s role as a watchdog and guardian of public accountability for law enforcement and other public officials. That it should be so disregarded, particularly after the journalists identified themselves as members of the press, is almost unthinkable – yet it happened, and happened quite violently according to news reports,” – See more at: http://www.rcfp.org/reporters-committee-statement-arrest-journalists-ferguson#sthash.9Q63HKlJ.dpuf
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