Two reporters who were arrested while covering the protests in Ferguson, Mo., last August, were charged with trespassing and interfering with a police officer, their outlets said on Monday. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/11/us/arrested-in-ferguson-2014-washington-post-reporter-wesley-lowery-is-charged.html?_r=0
The reporters, Wesley Lowery of the Washington Post and Ryan J. Reilly of the Huffington Post, were arrested at a McDonald’s restaurant while covering nightly demonstrations that followed the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, by Darren Wilson, a white police officer.
In an account Mr. Lowery wrote of the incident, he said he had been arrested after receiving contradictory instructions from the officers about which direction to exit the restaurant, which had served as a kind of staging area for reporters. At the time, the Post’s executive editor, Martin Baron, said that there had been “absolutely no justification for his arrest.
The Post reported Monday that Mr. Lowery had been ordered to appear in a St. Louis County municipal court on Aug. 24.
“You’d have thought law enforcement authorities would have come to their senses about this incident,” Mr. Baron said in a statement to his own newspaper. “Wes Lowery should never have been arrested in the first place. That was an abuse of police authority.”
Mr. Reilly said on Twitter that he had not received a summons, but the Huffington Post reported a spokesman for Steve Stenger, the St. Louis County executive, confirmed that Mr. Reilly would also face charges.
In a joint statement on the Huffington Post website, Ryan Grim, the Washington bureau chief, and Sam Stein, the senior politics editor, condemned the charges and said Mr. Reilly had the organization’s full support. “A crime was committed at the McDonald’s, not by journalists, but by local police who assaulted both Ryan and Wesley Lowery of The Washington Post during violent arrests,” the editors said.