From Nation of Change
Two journalists for the Huffington Post and The Washington Post have been charged with trespassing and interfering with a police officer nearly a year after being detained during the Ferguson riots. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), at least 11 reporters were detained in Ferguson last year while several other journalists reported being shot with police tear gas and rubber bullets. The CPJ is condemning this judicial intimidation and calling for these charges to be dropped immediately.
Four days after Officer Darren Wilson gunned down 18-year-old Michael Brown, Wesley Lowery of The Washington Post and Ryan Reilly of the Huffington Post were covering the protests and violence erupting across Ferguson, Missouri. Several reporters had been using the McDonald’s located a few blocks from the scene of Brown’s death to access WiFi and recharge their electronic devices. While charging his phone on August 13, 2014, Lowery noticed police officers in uniforms and riot gear enter.
Officers requested to see their identification before ordering Lowery and Reilly to leave. While recording the officer with his cell phone in one hand, Lowery began packing his notebook and pens with his other hand. As one officer instructed Lowery to exit to his left, another officer blocked his path and ordered him to go another way. When Lowery’s backpack began to slip off his shoulder and he asked to retrieve it, multiple officers grabbed him.
“My hands are behind my back,” Lowery told them. “I’m not resisting. I’m not resisting.” At which point one officer said: “You’re resisting. Stop resisting.”
After slamming Lowery into a soda machine, which set off the Coke dispenser, they placed him in plastic cuffs and escorted him out the door. On his way out Lowery asked Reilly to tweet about his arrest, but Reilly was arrested along with him.