Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Ryan Devereaux of The Intercept: Late Monday evening, after many of the major media outlets covering the protests in Ferguson, Mo., had left the streets to broadcast from their set-ups near the police command center, heavily armed officers raced through suburban streets in armored vehicles, chasing demonstrators, launching tear gas on otherwise quiet residential lanes, and shooting at journalists. At approximately 2 a.m. local time, Missouri Highway Patrol Capt. Ron Johnson announced at a press conference that 31 people had been arrested over the course of the night (NBC News later reported that, according to jail records, the actual total was more than double that). I was unable to attend or report on Johnson's press conference because I was one of those people. Here's what happened.

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With their high-powered lights scanning the neighborhood, the only option we had was to announce ourselves as members of the press and hope they wouldn't shoot. We stepped out of the shadows, our hands in the air, and began yelling, "Press!" and "Journalists!" and "We're media!" over and over. An officer on top of the vehicle turned his light on us. After a pause, he beckoned us forward. We continued walking, our hands still in the air, still shouting that we were journalists.

With rifles trained on us, we turned right on Highmunt Dr., in the direction of W. Florissant and toward another police vehicle, which had more guns pointed at us. As we made our way forward, I heard a pop and felt a stinging in my lower back. I jumped up instinctively, and realized that the officers behind us, the ones who had asked us to move forward, had shot us with what I believe were rubber bullets. I was hit once and [Bild reporter Lukas] Hermsmeier was hit twice.

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These "journalists" act like they are on the front lines of the Vietnam War.

#1 | Posted by CaseyJones at 2014-08-20 10:42 AM | Reply | Flag:

Maybe next time they won't get in the way.

#2 | Posted by lee_the_agent at 2014-08-20 10:42 AM | Reply | Flag:

I wonder why these reporters do not put the same energy into covering the violence in Chicago or Detroit.

#3 | Posted by RobThomas at 2014-08-20 11:26 AM | Reply | Flag:

They need to start wearing the gear war zone journalist do.

#4 | Posted by Daniel at 2014-08-20 11:39 AM | Reply | Flag:

I wonder why these reporters do not put the same energy into covering the violence in Chicago or Detroit.
#3 | Posted by RobThomas

Do you also wonder why the police do not put the same energy into perpetrating the violence in Chicago or Detroit?

#5 | Posted by snoofy at 2014-08-20 11:43 AM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

Not exactly a letter from the Birmingham City Jail, but a terrible story to tell, and one which will only be repeated in this country. Putting on a big show of how heavy-handed the local PD can be will only damage relations further and slow efforts to reconcile the parties involved.

A smart community organizer will get a lot of folks to register to vote, and if they show up, the political structure in Ferguson will look a lot different in a few years...

#6 | Posted by catdog at 2014-08-20 12:02 PM | Reply | Flag:

What's the Big Deal ------ says the DR con,con "constitutionalists"

Sad that this isn't even surprising anymore

#7 | Posted by ChiefTutMoses at 2014-08-20 12:26 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

As far as I can tell they are free to leave.

#8 | Posted by Dalton at 2014-08-20 12:33 PM | Reply | Flag:

I wonder why these reporters do not put the same energy into covering the violence in Chicago or Detroit.

#3 | Posted by RobThomas at 2014-08-20 11:26 AM | Reply | Flag:

Because you're making an astonishinly foolish apples to oranges comparison between criminal violence, which is punished to the fullest extent of the law, and state sanctioned police violence.

You wouldn't be so bewildered if you weren't making such an obvious bogus comparison.

On topic - Anyone who is making excuses for cops torturing people who have surrendered is a pathetic excuse for an American. If the reporters broke the law they should have been arrested. There is no reason to torture people with rubber bullets when they have already surrendered.

#9 | Posted by sully at 2014-08-20 12:34 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 3

This is the Thread where the usual Second Amendments "Constitutionalist" ignore the existence of the First Amendment.

Why?

Is this because they are racist? Or just stupid?

#10 | Posted by ChiefTutMoses at 2014-08-20 01:05 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

Is this because they are racist? Or just stupid?

Posted by ChiefTutMoses at 2014-08-20 01:05 PM | Reply

Aren't they the same thing???

#11 | Posted by LarryMohr at 2014-08-20 01:06 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

Are they sure they weren't ear plugs?

#12 | Posted by kwrx25 at 2014-08-20 01:18 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

Need some sort of proof....

From close range they would leave a welt.... so lets see it....

The First Amendment doesn't give you access to where ever you want to go.

Only that you can say stupid stuff, like ear plugs are rubber bullets....
dailycaller.com

#13 | Posted by AndreaMackris at 2014-08-20 02:11 PM | Reply | Flag:

Cons: What if the Officer's name was "Eric Holder"? Then you'd be reaching into your back pockets for your travel-sized copy of the Constitution.

#14 | Posted by BruceBanner at 2014-08-20 02:25 PM | Reply | Flag: | Funny: 2

#13 | POSTED BY ANDREAMACKRIS

The press is allowed to gather news as long as they are not interfering with police operations. My fiance is a journalist with ABC. She has been watching the coverage of police treatment of journalists in Ferguson with utter disgust.

So what does this mean as a practical matter to the average journalist? Courts will generally defer to police and other officials if they interfere with reporters in the name of managing an emergency scene or protecting the public, but should protect reporters from "arbitrary" interference with newsgathering. But reporters should remember that they will never convince an officer on the scene that their First Amendment rights are being violated. Usually, the only remedy is an after­the­fact discussion with officials or a lawsuit.
www.rcfp.org

Furthermore:

A journalist has the same rights as the general public to access public property. And, generally, it is legal to record video of people where they would reasonably expect to be seen. However, journalists are not granted special rights to disobey police orders, nor are they allowed to interfere with police work.
www.poynter.org

The difficult part is proving anything one way or another in the middle of such a chaotic scene such as that in Ferguson. Police are fully aware of this and will take advantage, history has proven this. Especially when you consider that in such a stressful environment, most judges will give the benefit of the doubt to the police officer being accused of brutality or excessive force against a journalist.

But you're right, the proof is in the pudding. Is there any physical evidence of journalists being shot with rubber bullets?

#15 | Posted by rstybeach11 at 2014-08-20 02:27 PM | Reply | Flag:

For the record, if you read Andrea's link, the reporter may have been a bit foolish for even asking but he never actually claimed that the ear plugs were rubber bullets. He was asking if people could confirm that they are.

Its actually an example of someone asking a question rather than jumping to an incorrect conclusion despite.

Certainly, he's more credible than people who are deliberately mirepresenting what he said.

#16 | Posted by Sully at 2014-08-20 02:39 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

For the record, if you read Andrea's link, the reporter may have been a bit foolish for even asking but he never actually claimed that the ear plugs were rubber bullets. He was asking if people could confirm that they are.

Its actually an example of someone asking a question rather than jumping to an incorrect conclusion despite.

Certainly, he's more credible than people who are deliberately mirepresenting what he said.

#17 | Posted by Sully at 2014-08-20 02:39 PM | Reply | Flag:

"The First Amendment doesn't give you access to where ever you want to go."

Nice strawman!

The First Amendment does however guarantee the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

In addition it also SPECIFICALLY mentions the freedom of the press. And this has been interpreted to mean that The Free Press Clause protects the right of individuals to express themselves through publication and dissemination of information, ideas and opinions without interference, constraint or prosecution by the government.

This right has been defined in Branzburg v. Hayes as "a fundamental personal right" that is not confined to newspapers and periodicals.

I am pretty sure the Press was peaceably assembled when they were shot in the back by police.

If that is true then their constitutional rights have been violated.

#18 | Posted by donnerboy at 2014-08-20 02:44 PM | Reply | Flag:

I am pretty sure the Press was peaceably assembled when they were shot in the back by police.

There's clear footage of the police in Ferguson firing tear-gas canisters at reporters. When the reporters fled, leaving their equipment behind, the police walked over wearing gas-masks and disassembled their equipment. I can understand taking down the bright light, but messing with the camera? Deliberately pointing it down to the ground?

Does not look good and justifies subsequent questions regarding police behavior against journalists, whether MACKRIS wants to admit it or not.

#19 | Posted by rstybeach11 at 2014-08-20 02:50 PM | Reply | Flag:

Surprised Journalists don't also wear body cameras in addition to the big equipment for times like this. With their hands up (or otherwise occupied) they can't film much. Even with a bright light pointed at them they could still possibly pick up the audio.

#20 | Posted by Lohocla at 2014-08-20 03:19 PM | Reply | Flag:

#20 | POSTED BY LOHOCLA

That's a great point! GoPros are inexpensive and provide amazing picture quality. You would think the media would consider this.

NEWSWORTHY POST nonetheless.

#21 | Posted by rstybeach11 at 2014-08-20 03:21 PM | Reply | Flag:

20 | POSTED BY LOHOCLA

That's a great point! GoPros are inexpensive and provide amazing picture quality. You would think the media would consider this.

NEWSWORTHY POST nonetheless.

#21 | Posted by rstybeach11

hmmm. I think we ALL need to consider this.

BTW- to flag someone as newsworthy select the newsworthy flag and hit F5.

I usually charge for IT tips and tricks. This one's on me.

enjoi

#22 | Posted by donnerboy at 2014-08-20 03:39 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

The First Amendment doesn't give you access to where ever you want to go.

#13 | POSTED BY ANDREAMACKRIS AT 2014-08-20 02:11 PM | REPLY | FLAG:

Like public streets and sidewalks.

#23 | Posted by 726 at 2014-08-20 03:40 PM | Reply | Flag:

People doing things they should be ashamed of always mistreat the media. Sometimes they even kill them. Like when the savages in ISIL beheaded the journalist in Syria or wherever it was. (not the first time)

Journalists are easy targets for hate, but they put themselves in harm's way constantly in an attempt to gather and report the news. Here are the top three stories right now at NPR.com - all involve dangers to journalists doing their jobs:

Photographing An Ebola Riot: Put Your Fear Aside And Go Forward www.npr.org

President Obama Says Militants Who Beheaded American Are 'Cowardly'
www.npr.org

Rights Of Protesters, Media Misunderstood In Ferguson
www.npr.org

#24 | Posted by cbob at 2014-08-20 04:01 PM | Reply | Flag:

Because you're making an astonishinly foolish apples to oranges comparison between criminal violence, which is punished to the fullest extent of the law, and state sanctioned police violence.
You wouldn't be so bewildered if you weren't making such an obvious bogus comparison.
On topic - Anyone who is making excuses for cops torturing people who have surrendered is a pathetic excuse for an American. If the reporters broke the law they should have been arrested. There is no reason to torture people with rubber bullets when they have already surrendered.

#9 | POSTED BY SULLY AT 2014-08-20 12:34 PM | REPLY | FLAG

Anyone who has already convicted the officer is a pathetic excuse for an American. Using the term "state sanctioned police violence" is clear enough to know where u stand. On all four knuckles.

#25 | Posted by RobThomas at 2014-08-20 04:47 PM | Reply | Flag:

Better standing on four knuckles than kneeling with your tongue on a boot.

#26 | Posted by zeropointnrg at 2014-08-20 06:39 PM | Reply | Flag:

As far as I can tell they are free to leave.

------

Yes, this is precisely what the 3rd Reich said about the Jews/gypsies/communists.

#27 | Posted by Shawn at 2014-08-20 08:07 PM | Reply | Flag: | Funny: 1

If things continue to slide down hill, next time they will not be rubber. These journalist are far from impartial observers. I think the cops in this situation have shown remarkable restraint, they have been shot at every night by wantabe snipers. The same thing happened in 1965, Governor Pat Brown called in the Guard into Watts. When the guard received fire, they returned fire with 50 caliber machine guns. Maybe the root of the problem is that black people are more likely to believe an attractive lie than an unpleasant truth.

#28 | Posted by docnjo at 2014-08-21 07:14 AM | Reply | Flag:

That's a great point! GoPros are inexpensive and provide amazing picture quality. You would think the media would consider this.
NEWSWORTHY POST nonetheless.

#21 | POSTED BY RSTYBEACH11 AT 2014-08-20 03:21 PM | FLAG:

The batteries suck. Flip it to lowest quality and it still wouldn't be enough for continual wearing at protests that run for hours.

Tough as hell though. I've had a hero3 go down in multiple RC crashes, still works like a champ.

#29 | Posted by sitzkrieg at 2014-08-21 07:28 AM | Reply | Flag:

Anyone who has already convicted the officer is a pathetic excuse for an American. Using the term "state sanctioned police violence" is clear enough to know where u stand. On all four knuckles.

#25 | Posted by RobThomas at 2014-08-20 04:47 PM | Reply | Flag:

Nice try. You don't get to assign me a position. Stick to posting about how confused you are by your inability to understand what distinguishes obviously different situations.

#30 | Posted by Sully at 2014-08-21 09:10 AM | Reply | Flag:

As far as I can tell they are free to leave.

I don't get some of you folks. Your answer to police deliberately firing rubber bullets at reporters to prevent them from covering unrest is to suggest the reporters shouldn't be there?

It does not serve the interests of society for police to have no press observing their actions. Police are capable of misdeeds and corruption like any other entity, and the First Amendment gave the media the ability to be a check on that.

This ought to be so obvious it requires no explanation.

#31 | Posted by rcade at 2014-08-21 10:15 AM | Reply | Flag:

#31 | Posted by rcade at 2014-08-21 10:15 AM | Reply | Flag:

It becomes even more confounding when you consider that the crowd who openly resents anyone looking to protect the freedoms of Americans will justify sending thousands of our young people to go die in some foreign craphole so that people who hate us can be "free".

#32 | Posted by Sully at 2014-08-21 01:05 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

Do you also wonder why the police do not put the same energy into perpetrating the violence in Chicago or Detroit?

#5 | Posted by snoofy

You want the MO police to go to chicago? I don't think so.

#33 | Posted by Sniper at 2014-08-21 04:09 PM | Reply | Flag:

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