Ferguson PD Embraces Equality by Arresting Reporters of All Races

On Wednesday night, the police in Ferguson, Missouri, wanted everyone to clear out of the local McDonald's, which had turned into a makeshift media center with reporters charging their phones and using the wifi to file stories about the protests only a few blocks away. When officers ordered all the patrons to leave, Washington Post reporter Wesley Lowery made two fateful missteps: he did not snap to and flee immediately and furthermore would not stop running his pesky camera.

Lowery described being slammed into a soda dispenser and arrested when he got confused about which door the police wanted him to leave through. Lowery, along with Ryan J. Reilly of the Huffington Post, was restrained with plastic zip-ties and hauled off to jail. (Previous link is Lowery's firsthand account.) When the chief of police found out, he intervened to have the two of them released without charge as "a favor."

Lowery and Reilly really, really wanted to know which officers had given them a free ride to the jail, just to thank them, but those cops, they were so modest! Just a little Show-Me State hospitality. No need for tiny details like names or badge numbers. We're all friends here. You have a good night now, gentlemen.

We are pleased to note that racial enlightenment seems to have taken hold with the authorities in Ferguson, since they arrested one white reporter and one black reporter. Progress!

Oh, but they might want to see about that St. Louis alderman they won't confirm is in their custody. When they have a minute. We know they're "very busy." Also, they should get back to the state senator who represents Ferguson and would like to know how many more times she should plan on getting gassed alongside her constituents.

Senator Chappelle-Nadal seems like a  nice lady, so we hope she was not too close by last night when police told the media to stop filming and busted out their sonic crowd control weapon, which has a starring role in the somewhat chaotic and annoyingly-narrated video below (Wonket A/V advises you to TURN YOUR SPEAKERS DOWN). When the crowd managed to hang in despite the indescribable noise, which is designed to drive protesters away by causing physical pain to the eardrum, the police upped the ante with teargas and rubber bullets.

The local Fox affiliate, having shut down their live camera at the (bullshit) request of police, did manage to somewhat redeem itself with a lengthy segment on Wednesday's late news about the racial demographics of the police department in Ferguson and the jaw-dropping racial disparity in the car stops and searches they conduct, as laid out in a report from the Missouri Attorney General. While we love government transparency as much as the next mommyblog, we humbly submit that merely shaming the agencies in question with facts and numbers might fall somewhat short of a solution.

By the time the police swooped in to hustle the press out of McDonald's, Ferguson was entering its fifth day of unrest after the police shooting of an unarmed black teenager on Saturday. Demands from the community for answers and change in the police department have led to largely peaceful protests, a few of which have devolved into looting and vandalism. Law enforcement responded by deploying all the fun paramilitary toys that we guess they don't get to play with nearly as much as they'd like. The police have so far refused to release the name of the officer who shot Mike Brown, claiming they fear for his safety, but time might be running out since Anonymous is working its black magic and will probably unmask him soon.

The protesters should know, though, that the jig is up for them as well. Real America has figured out that this is not actually a spontaneous reaction to police aggression, but simply an excuse for Obama's Chicago Sleeper Cells to activate. Chris Loesch, husband of Dana, lay it out for us:

Let us help you a bit in your interaction with fact-based reality here, Mr. Loesch. Maybe there are some people from Chicago, anarcho-communist or non, who came to Ferguson because what happened in Ferguson happens everywhere and someone in Chicago who cares about other human beings might feel empathy and outrage and want to come and stand with the people in Ferguson. People in Chicago -- who do not in fact live in Ferguson, or even in Missouri --might care about abuses perpetrated by police that they themselves do not have to live with in their immediate surroundings. We understand this might be a hard concept to grasp if you are a terrible person who thinks the natural state of people is to think only of themselves.

[ Washington Post / Huffington Post / KARG ]

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