St. Louis County Still Considering Bringing Trespassing Charges Against Journalists Police Arrested In Ferguson
from the that-would-be-a-bad-idea dept
SWAT just invade McDonald's where I'm working/recharging. Asked for ID when I took photo. pic.twitter.com/FOIsMnBwHy— Ryan J. Reilly (@ryanjreilly) August 13, 2014
Police come into McD where me and @ryanjreilly working. Try to kick everyone out.— Wesley Lowery (@WesleyLowery) August 13, 2014
Officers slammed me into a fountain soda machine because I was confused about which door they were asking me to walk out of— Wesley Lowery (@WesleyLowery) August 14, 2014
Detained, booked, given answers to no questions. Then just let out— Wesley Lowery (@WesleyLowery) August 14, 2014
Also Ryan Reilly of Huff Po. Assaulted and arrested— Wesley Lowery (@WesleyLowery) August 14, 2014
Unfortunately my last Vine featuring the officer who assaulted me was deleted when other my phone died.— Ryan J. Reilly (@ryanjreilly) August 14, 2014
St. Louis County prosecutors will soon decide whether to bring trespassing charges against two journalists arrested while covering demonstrations last summer in Ferguson, Missouri.I'm trying to envision a scenario where this whole thing doesn't backfire in a ridiculous way for the St. Louis County police and prosecutors, and I'm struggling to find any possible way for them not to come out of this looking absolutely terrible. Both Lowery and Reilly are quick to point out how ridiculous the whole thing is:
The Huffington Post’s Ryan Reilly and The Washington Post’s Wesley Lowery recently learned that there are open investigations related to their Aug. 13, 2014, arrests and that the cases have been referred to the county counselor's office, which primarily handles local ordinance violations. The St. Louis County Police Department filed incident reports in late April of this year describing the reporters as trespassing when they were seized at a McDonald's restaurant.
"Ryan and I have maintained from day one that our detention was unwarranted, unnecessary and illegal," Lowery said in an email. "The idea that the prosecutor’s office would consider bringing formal charges in this incident is ludicrous. Officials in St. Louis County should drop this matter, release the relevant documents and allow us all to move on with our lives and onto more important elements of this story."The article linked above notes that both reporters have continued their investigations into their own arrests, and have faced stonewalling at every turn, including police trying to deny their requests to find out the names of the officers who assaulted and arrested them. Moving forward with actual bogus "trespassing" charges would be not just adding insult to injury, but would, once again, call the world's gaze to St. Louis County and whatever the hell it is they call "justice" down there.
"Wesley and I did nothing wrong in this scenario, which occurred shortly after officers with the St. Louis County Police Department trained sniper rifles at a crowd of peaceful protesters in broad daylight," Reilly said in an email.