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Police in Ferguson to the Media: "We Don't Want You Here"
Police in Ferguson ramp up all out assault on media covering police brutality. St. Louis County Police Department pigs deliberately fired tear gas and rubber bullets at an Al Jazeera news crew. They also began dismantling the Al Jazeera media equipment, that is until they noticed another media team was recording them from across the street, then they jumped back into their armored vehicle and took off. Police then chased off the KSDK news crew filming the attack on the Al Jazeera crew, telling KSDK, "We don't want you here."
(2:35 video of police attack on Al Jazeera from http://on.ksdk.com/Vok808)
Not only did the police attack the Al Jazeera crew last night, but earlier in the day arrested of reporters Wesley Lowery from the Washington Post and Ryan Reilly from Huffington Post. Both were released within two hours and no charges were filed, so there likely will be no police reports on the incident. At some point during the night last night, as police were on the attack all over the area, KARG Radio reporter Mustafa Hussein noted that police in Ferguson asked media to turn off their cameras as police advanced. Mustafa refused and livestreamed the police assaults anyway.
Earlier in the week, police in Ferguson got approval from the FAA for a no-fly zone over the area, which effectively meant no news helicopters could capture video of the constant police attacks against residents of Ferguson from the air.
Ferguson police department chief Tom Jackson claimed today at a press conference, "I don't know who made that decision [to attack Al Jazeera], but I will look into that. The media is not a target." Liar.
Statement from Al Jazeera on Police in Ferguson Gassing, Firing Rubber Bullets at its crew:
Last night at 9:30 CDT in Ferguson, Missouri, an Al Jazeera America news crew was reporting behind police barricades. They were easily identifiable as a working television crew. As they were setting up their camera for a live report, tear gas canisters landed in their proximity and police fired rubber bullets in their direction. Police continued to shoot after crew members clearly and repeatedly shouted ‘Press’. Al Jazeera America is stunned by this egregious assault on freedom of the press that was clearly intended to have a chilling effect on our ability to cover this important story. Thankfully all three crew members are physically fine. We believe that this situation must be investigated along with those involving our colleagues at other media outlets.
Statement from Kate O'Brian, Al Jazeera America President
For media inquiries please contact Jocelyn Austin at jocelyn.austin [at] aljazeera.net