Police firing on news crews with tear gas.
Reporters handcuffed and thrown in jail.
No, this isn’t Tehran or Beijing, but Ferguson, Mo., smack-dab in the center of the United States, where for days, demonstrators have taken to the streets in reaction to the police killing of unarmed teenager, Michael Brown on August 9. And reporters trying to cover events say they’ve been treated badly.
Two journalists–Washington Post reporter Wesley Lowery and Huffington Post’s Ryan Reilly were briefly detained on Wednesday and released without charge. Lowry’s firsthand account of the incident, published in the Post Thursday, is chilling:
“’My hands are behind my back,’ I said. ‘I’m not resisting. I’m not resisting.’ At which point one officer said: ‘You’re resisting. Stop resisting.’ That was when I was most afraid — more afraid than of the tear gas and rubber bullets. As they took me into custody, the officers slammed me into a soda machine, at one point setting off the Coke dispenser…”
President Barack Obama expressed his concern in a statement on Wednesday:
“…And here in the United States of America, police should not be bullying or arresting journalists who are just trying to do their jobs.”
The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has also voiced alarm: