A crew from Al Jazeera America was setting up for a live shot in Ferguson, MO, around 10:30 last night, when police tear gas canisters landed near them. The network also says police fired rubber bullets in their direction and continued to shoot after the crew “clearly and repeatedly shouted ‘press.’”
They were setting up for a live shot for the international channel covering the latest in the violence surrounding the police shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown.
“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,” AJAM spokesperson Jocelyn Austin says. “Thankfully all three crew members are physically fine.”
The network wants the incident investigated.
Two other reporters covering the chaos were arrested last night. Washington Post reporter Wesley Lowery says he was slammed into a soda machine, handcuffed and arrested. He was released later on the order of Ferguson’s police chief. The Huffington Post’s Ryan J. Reilly says an officer arresting him slammed his head against the glass at a restaurant near the site of the Brown shooting.
“RTDNA condemns the physical violence and unjustified arrest of the journalists, and demands authorities respect the rights of reporters covering the unfolding situation in Missouri,” RTDNA Executive Director Mike Cavender wrote to the city’s police chief this morning. After the jump, Cavender’s letter, which also went to the governor and the attorneys general of Missouri and the U.S…