Ferguson: Reporters under threat from police, protesters

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Live stream camera operator told he could be shot

Despite promises from law enforcement agencies in Ferguson, Missouri to allow journalists to do to their jobs while covering the aftermath of the shooting of Michael Brown, more arrests and threats were reported over the weekend.

Police signed an agreement in federal court Friday with the American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri, to fend off a lawsuit over the treatment of reporters. “The grief of our community should not be compounded by First Amendment violations,” says Jeffrey A. Mittman, ACLU of Missouri executive director.

But multiple reports have come in saying the arrests, threats and harassment have continued.

The Poynter Institute has documented first-hand accounts from reporters, including from Sports Illustrated’s Robert Klemko, the Telegraph’s Rob Crilly and the Financial Times’ Neil Munshi, who were arrested Sunday. They also have recorded tweets from other journalists threatened with being shot, tear gassed or maced.

Gawker.com posted video of police threatening to shoot the operator of a live video stream from the scene of the protests, as well as an account from an MSNBC crew who were threatened with mace. The Washington Post reported on some of the arrests and threats as well.

A reporter from St. Louis Public Radio was caught up in the clashes between police and protesters, and explains what happened as she tried to get out of the line of fire.

And both journalists and members of the public who have tried to videotape events in Ferguson have been threatend by rioters, as Politico reports. Rioters and looters afraid of being identified police have tried to keep anyone with a camera away.

RTDNA continues to monitor events in Ferguson. Joining with dozens of journalism organizations, we have renewed our call for police to respect the rights of journalists and will continue to fight for their ability to do their work unimpeded.

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