Scarborough's Comments on Ferguson Riots Prompt Angry Backlash

Thursday, 14 Aug 2014 02:10 PM

By Melanie Batley

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The Washington Post reporter who was arrested by the police while covering the civil unrest in Ferguson, Mo., has hit back at MSNBC's Joe Scarborough who made critical comments that he and a fellow journalist were to blame for not following police instructions, Politico reported.

"I've been in places where police officers said, 'All right, you know what, this is cordoned off, you guys need to move along,'" Scarborough said Thursday on "Morning Joe."

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"You know what I do? I go, 'Yes, sir,' or 'Yes, ma'am.' I don't sit there and have a debate and film the police officer, unless I want to get on TV and have people talk about me the next day."

Wesley Lowery, along with Huffington Post reporter Ryan Reilly, were arrested Wednesday night at a McDonald's near the site of protests against the death of 18-year-old Michael Brown, an unarmed black man who was shot several times by an officer whose name has been withheld.

Police reportedly asked the journalists to leave the restaurant where they had been working and filming. They were arrested but later released without charge after a Los Angeles Times reporter alerted the police chief about their detainment.

Lowery slammed Scarborough on CNN's "New Day," for making the comments, saying he has "little patience for talking heads." [embed below]

Story continues below video.


"Well I would invite Joe Scarborough to come down to Ferguson and get out of 30 Rock where he's sitting sipping his Starbucks smugly. I invite him to come down here and talk to residents of Ferguson where I have been Monday afternoon having tear gas shot at me, rubber bullets shot at me, having mothers, daughter, a 19-year-old boy, crying, running to pull his 21-year-old sister out from a cloud of tear gas thinking she would die," Lowery said.

"I have little patience for talking heads. This is too important. This is a community in the United States of America, where we're seeing it on fire, they are on fire, this community is on edge, there is so much happening here and instead of getting more reporters on the ground we have people like Joe Scarborough who are running their mouths and have no idea what they're talking about," Lowery said.

He also emphasized he did not want the arrest to overshadow the demonstrations in Ferguson's name.

Reilly wrote in a Facebook post that a police officer in riot gear deliberately "banged my head against the window on the way out and sarcastically apologized."

"I'm fine. But if this is the way these officers treat a white reporter working on a laptop who moved a little too slowly for their liking, I can't image how horribly they treat others. And if anyone thinks that the militarization of our police force isn't a huge issue in this country, I've got a story to tell you."


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