Tags: reporters | arrested | Ferguson | protests

Two Reporters Arrested Covering Missouri Protests

By Todd Beamon   |   Wednesday, 13 Aug 2014 11:02 PM

Reporters from the Washington Post and the Huffington Post were arrested in Ferguson, Mo., on Wednesday night while covering protests surrounding the shooting of an African-American teenager by a white police officer in the St. Louis suburb.

Wesley Lowery, who covers politics for The Washington Post, and Ryan Reilly, a Huffington Post justice system reporter, said they were working in a fast-food restaurant when SWAT officers came in to quickly clear the area.

Both quickly tweeted about their arrests, detention, and subsequent release without any charges.

Here's what Lowery said after his release:

Reilly described it this way:

Angry citizens have been protesting since Michael Brown, 18, was shot multiple times on Saturday by an officer after an altercation. Authorities have refused to release the officer's name because of concerns for his safety and because he has not been charged with a crime.

The shots were fired after the officer stopped Brown and another teenager as they walked along a local street.

The shooting has sparked days of rioting and looting, and several stores have been set on fire. One woman was critically wounded when she was shot in the head.

Dozens of protesters have been arrested, and the Justice Department has sent its Community Relations Service to the area in hopes of easing racial tensions.

In the incident Wednesday night, both Reilly and Lowery said they were working in a neighborhood McDonald's restaurant about 8 p.m. when the police came in to clear it out.

They accosted the reporters after Reilly snapped a picture. The police asked the reporters for identification, taking them into custody shortly thereafter.

Here's what Reilly said:

Lowery said:

He later added:

The Huffington Post reported that it tried to reach Ferguson police about its reporter, based on his Twitter messages.

A man answered the phone — identifying himself only as "George" — but said that he could provide no information on the situation and that no one was available to discuss it.

When a Huffington Post reporter tried to get the person's name, he eventually hung up the phone.

The Washington Post did not publish a story about Lowery's arrest on its website. Marty Barron, the executive editor, referred questions from Politico to Lowery's Twitter account.

Shortly after his release, Reilly was interviewed by Chris Hayes on MSNBC.

"The officer in question, who I repeatedly later asked for his name, grabbed my things and shoved them into my bag," Reilly told Hayes, the Huffington Post reports. "He used his finger to put a pressure point on my neck.

"They essentially acted as a military force. It was incredible," he added. "The worst part was he slammed my head against the glass purposefully on the way out of McDonald's and then sarcastically apologized for it."

Matt Pearce, a reporter for the Los Angeles Times, did reach Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson, the Huffington Post reports.

Here are his tweets:

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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