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From the Open-Publishing Newswire
What a stupid excuse for arresting reporters
Missouri Highway Patrol Captain Ron Johnson, rationalizing the coordinated campaign against the media covering the Ferguson unrest: "I'm going to tell you in the midst of chaos, when officers are running around, we're not sure who's a journalist and who's not," Johnson said, according to an audio recording. "Yes, if I see somebody with a $50,000 camera on their shoulder, I'm pretty sure. But some journalists are walking around, and all you have is a cellphone because you're from a small media outlet. Some of you may just have a camera around your neck."
These assholes are not even pretending to make sense anymore. Look above at the picture of the arrest of Getty's superstar photographer Scott Olson. It's broad daylight. He's got extensive and expensive photography equipment wrapped around his neck and waist. There is no crowd, so no chaos. He's got a lanyard with his press credentials. And he calmly told police who he was, and explained his media role.
But these asshole out-of-control cops didn't care. They knew Olson was a journalist and they willfully didn't give a shit.
It's Missouri law enforcement. We can't expect anything else from them.
Here is video from Financial Times reporter showing Captain Johnson ordering him and two other reporters arrested: https://twitter.com/neiLmunshi/statuses/501199324844687360
More from Vox:
""Capt Johnson said walk away or be arrested. I started walking away. They followed and arrested us," one of the reporters, Robert Klemko of Sports Illustrated, tweeted. Another of the reporters posted a video clip showing Johnson ordering that the journalists be arrested and cuffed.
"Their zip-cord cuffs were cut minutes later, but Johnson's arrests were nonetheless a success. The three reporters, and others in the area, now understood that crossing the police's ever-tightening list of restrictions on journalists, stated and unstated, no matter how arbitrary or unlawful, came with personal, bodily risk. And the police under Johnson's command saw very clearly how they were to treat the media."
( http://www.vox.com/2014/8/18/6043247/ferguson-police-media-harassment )
Photo: Getty Images photographer Scott Olson (C) is arrested by a highway patrol officer during a protest for the shooting death of Michael Brown, in Ferguson, Missouri August 18, 2014.