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Charges Against Journalists Raise Troubling Questions About Press Freedom in Ferguson


Charges Against Journalists Raise Troubling Questions About Press Freedom in Ferguson

Sarah Lazare, staff writer

This week's charges against Washington Post and Huffington Post journalists arrested last year while covering protests in Ferguson are the latest sign that even high-profile reporters are not immune from the ongoing police crackdown on press freedoms and civil rights in this St. Louis suburb.

Ryan J. Reilly of the Huffington Post and Wesley Lowery of the Washington Post were arrested in August 2014 in McDonald's while covering the mass protests, just days after white police officer Darren Wilson killed unarmed black teenager Michael Brown.


Anyone who knows much about St. Louis and the state of Misery shouldn’t be surprised by this. That state is not much different than the " Burnt Over Ground " in New York State. It is full of religious fervor and white supremacists. It’s history was well noted by Samuel Clemons and actually had much to do with his atheism. Nobody, let alone journalists who should do their homework, would not understand why they were arrested in St. Louis covering racial issues. Sheeesh!!! Come on kids, we can do better than this.


“‘If Wes Lowery and Ryan Reilly can be charged like this with the whole country watching, just imagine what happens when nobody is.’”

Exactly. Tactics of intimidation; y/our tax dollars at work.


The story of these arrests in 2014 are relevant to what is going on today is St.
Louis and Ferguson. They are indicative of how the law is administered not only in these two locations now using a so-called “emergency” to continue the racist
behavior of those who inhabit all levels of the “justice system” in MO. Time for the Department of Justice to not only investigate, but take over and end the control of all of St. Louis County and bring about “justice for all” instead of continuing to allow arrest and jailing of any and all who stand up against the
illegal arrest and enforcement that is a clear violation of the U.S. Constitution.


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The SA of the US Fourth Reich are Brownshirts dressed in Blue, but their MO is very similar, and as it grew as the Nazis gained power in Germany, so it is growing here.


Thank you for sharing the info re: Reporters Without Borders. Even or perhaps being almost age 80, having been born raised and graduated from a segregated high school in TX in 1954, I’m not yet quite so cynical about the aspect of press freedom.

However, I am deeply concerned about what I see as very backward trend in racist behavior and actions by law enforcement. Having participated in public protests personally, even at my current age and lack of physical ability, I would hope, even in the circumstances current occurring in MO, if I was a resident in that location, I would get out the walker, once belonging to my late spouse, and join those protesting even if I faced similar consequences.

All too often writing and criticizing other’s opinions is too easy and too many writers fail to use their feet to protest current injustices.


Just for the sake of argument Jonny, perhaps opinion is related to where and how one acquires “facts” and then extrapolates and applies them? Just suggesting your statements may be more related to personal acquisition because “facts” are hardly the same for each individual.


The get their water from The Big, Big White Puffy Cloud Guy. There are dark gray clouds, of course. But you only see black and brown ones over coal plants and oil refineries in Misery. Which is the work of God’s providence. I’m sure. It is a black and white world in the absence of grace but with plenty of misery.


I think you missed my point Jonny, but thank you for your reply. ss been busy.
My education as well as most of my years of working life since my 30s has been about research and application of the results of the applicable research.

My point was “facts” are only as relevant and trustworthy as those who provide them. History is only as factual as those who write it from their interpretation of the available original documents. The “facts” provided by the article you posted are tempered with the opinion, experiences and ultimate purpose of the posters.

My granddaughters all currently being educated and/or graduated with different interests and majors from three different educational institutions, would hardly agree with me on “facts.” Their life experience are far different than mine. I feel sure as per another poster mentioned, they’ve never seen the white and colored fountains at the courthouse in the center square of Georgetown, TX, that I grew up with.

Just suggesting “facts” for each individual are those you’re willing to accept as true. Those same or similar experiences and/or research can vary from culture, society and/or each individual based on experience, personal perception, location of acquisition and belief in their validity. Just words for
consideration when using “facts” for the purpose of argument or correction of
others beliefs and statements. And so it goes from an elderly cultural anthropologist. BTW, I do have the degrees to prove that status, but you’ll just have to take me at my word of that “fact.”


These people are thugs, basically. I took a look & was shocked to find that here in CA it takes about $250K to keep one of these thugs on payroll!

Know any university professors making $250K?


It seems someone said something like freedom of speech is the first casualty in a war. Is Ferguson a war zone? Maybe that is what the authorities want it to look like. Civil liberties often do become curtailed in times of war. This might appear to be isolated to a locality - Ferguson, Baltimore, etc. But what does it say for the bigger picture? When does martial law get put on the table for discussion?
After hearing about the difficulty Wikileaks is having requesting information from the courts, and the obstacles the US Department of “Justice” keeps throwing out, this doesn’t really surprise me. This is what I think fascism looks like. And from where I sit, I cannot say there ever really was a true freedom of the press in this country. I learned that one the hard way.


shouldnt we stop calling these people “police” and start calling them something more accurate like S.S. or Gestapo. maybe Stasi or Cossacks? Tonton Macoute ? CIA? police are individuals who protect and serve the people.by their actions these are not police and should neither be confused with real police nor allowed to use that name.

Ferguson,MO.I call on you to change the name of those lawless and violent people to something else.how about Muggers? Bullies?


The truth is the truth if even one person is speaking it. Are established facts arbitrary? Was Rumsfeldt right when he said, “There’s the truth, and then there’s the truth we create”?


Investigative journalists should be on the “endandered species” list…they’re not easy to find nowadays.


I would like to know the following:

Did McDonald’s specifically object to the reporters setting up shop there? If so, did McDonald’s ask the reporters to leave? Or, did the police just arbitrarily go into McDonald’s and demand the reporters leave?

Has anyone heard anything about the circumstances that led to these reporters (almost a year later) being charged on trifling charges. This certainly is NOT timely filing.


As I remember it, from MSNBC reports by Chis Hayes, they sought shelter in Mickey Ds and continued filming. When asked to stop they didn’t and then there was a scuffle with the police, etc. If I remember correctly the police were outside and came in and rousted them, trying to take the film, etc. You raise some good points but the archives from those crazy days are most likely now evidence in the case.


Relevant to this topic, I was very pleased to note an important change in state law in CA. Some important protection for citizens that perhaps might be
equally important as Federal law.

However, would the GOP controlled Congress even give such laws consideration? Would those in control of the various law enforcement groups in MO, the useless Governor or MO Legislature be forced to comply if it was?

While the circumstances in MO grow worse daily, the topic of this article, a lack of any reality of freedom of the press and of the rights of citizens, have been subjugated to the very obvious police state. Will the Attorney General
move to end the control of “the people and the press” by those who are IMHO
clearly in violation of the US Constitution? Unfortunately, I suspect not.


How about THUGS? The police act like thugs… may as well go all in.


Thanks for that info. With that in hand, I’ll do some checking on Chris Haye’s site. I appreciate it. If McDonald’s talked to the reporters, and they didn’t abide by McDonald’s wishes, then there would be a modicum of justifiable cause for the police to roust them out. If the cops did it of their own volition, then that’s a different set of circumstances as to how it should have been handled.