SAG-AFTRA Condemns Arrests of Journalists in Ferguson

SAG-AFTRA Condemns Arrests of Journalists in
Joe Raedle / Getty Images

SAG-AFTRA, which represents broadcast journalists, issued a statement on Monday criticizing authorities in Ferguson, Mo., for arresting journalists as they covered ongoing protests over the police shooting of a black teenager.

Last week, the Washington Post’s Wesley Lowery and Huffington Post’s Ryan Reilly were among the reporters arrested as they were covering the scene. On Monday, Reilly reported that Getty Images photographer Scott Olson was arrested.

“SAG-AFTRA joins the rest of the journalism community in condemning the arrest and detention of reporters covering the events happening in Ferguson, Missouri,” the union said in a statement. “As a union that represents broadcast journalists, including many local St. Louis broadcasters, we strongly support the rights of journalists not to be impeded in their efforts to report the news. Journalists have an obligation to report what is happening in their community, and the world. We ask that law enforcement in Ferguson permit journalists the freedom to do their jobs.”

President Obama last week also criticized the arrest of reporters. “Here in the United States of America, police should not be bullying or arresting journalists who are just trying to do their jobs and report to the American people on what they see on the ground,” he said.

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  1. TonF says:

    Reply to Becky: And if the police did not shoot unarmed youngsters, the protesters would not be there for the media to need to report. I’m sorry to have to report this, but from the viewpoint of a small country at the bottom of the world (New Zealand), your country, where authorities think it’s okay to kill unarmed people, children think it’s okay to massacre dozens of other children, the gun control lobby thinks it’s okay to allow all this to continue happening – and the majority doesn’t stop it – and journalists are arrested for fulfilling their democratic responsibility, appears to us to be a country that has lost the plot. Insanity.

  2. Becky says:

    I think at this point the “protesters” showing up every night don’t give a hoot about the young man who was killed, most just want to be on TV. Perhaps if the media went away so would most of the crowd.

  3. Brandon Bell says:

    Journalists have a job to do. Usually police arrest journalists when they themselves are trying to break the law. That appears to be what is happening here. From what I have seen every night it is the police or law enforcement that has created the problems every night. In every situation, they have over reacted. On what American streets do we need to have officers in camouflage and in tanks and using stun grenades and tear gas when the people are protesting peacefully. And for those of you who will say they were provoked, a rock or bottle is not a provocation for the kinds of response these cops have presented. And usually the rock or bottle didn’t come first. It was a response to.

  4. Varmouti says:

    Part of the protest is to get the facts released that you are waiting to receive.

  5. give it a break says:

    Just CHILL OUT. All the media needs to go home and let the citizens get back to their lives.

  6. Michael Anthony says:

    It’s easy to criticize when one isn’t on the ground. The situation in that city appears volatile and changing. Photos I have seen from some if the protests show the news media in some potentially dangerous situations.

    Yes, media should be allowed to cover and not face arrest, unless the break the law. BUT, we don’t even have the facts of the killing yet! Let’s hear that and get some peace before SAG starts jumping up and down about their journalists. There’s plenty of time for them to do that a bit later.

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