August 13, 2014 9:51 pm -

Reporters from The Washington Post and the Huffington Post were arrested in Ferguson, Mo., on Wednesday night while covering the protests in the wake of Michael Brown’s shooting death by police.

Reporters have been kept at a distance, and now, two have been arrested with one claiming police officers assaulted him.


Reporters Wesley Lowery of the Washington Post and Ryan Reilly, of the Huffington Post were arrested in a McDonalds shortly before 8:00 p.m. ET.

Politico reports:

Police entered the restaurant and told patrons there to leave, the reporters wrote on Twitter after their release. The police then asked Lowery and Reilly for their identification and, according to the reporters, arrested them because they weren’t packing their bags fast enough.

Lowery also said the police officers “assaulted” him. “Officers slammed me into a fountain soda machine because I was confused about which door they were asking me to walk out of,” he wrote on Twitter. Lowery also said that he and Reilly were released without paperwork or charges, and that the officers refused to provide the reporters with their names.

Ferguson has been the site of protests since the death of Michael Brown, an 18-year-old African-American who was shot several times by an officer. The chief of police there has refused to disclose the identity of the officer in question, citing safety concerns. According to The Associated Press, the officer “has received numerous death threats, and the chief worries that disclosing his name would endanger [him].”..

In a statement, the Huffington Post said Reilly “was arrested Wednesday while covering the protests in Ferguson, Missouri surrounding the death of unarmed African American teenager Michael Brown, who was shot to death by a police officer last week.”

“Reilly tweeted at around 8:00 P.M. EDT that SWAT officers invaded the McDonald’s at which he was working, requesting his identification after he took a photo of them,” the statement read.

Reached by phone, an operator for the Ferguson Police Department would neither confirm nor deny Lowery and Reilly’s arrest.

The arrests were announced on Twitter by the reporters:

“I have no information,” an operator for the Ferguson Police Department told Politico several times.

Image: AP

D.B. Hirsch
D.B. Hirsch is a political activist, news junkie, and retired ad copy writer and spin doctor. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

29 responses to Washington Post, Huffington Post Reporters Arrested In Ferguson

  1. Tommy6860 August 13th, 2014 at 10:05 pm

    So, constitutionally allowed unarmed peacful protests warrants a response by an almost massive ultra-militarized police force, with their weapons aimed at the unarmed. Where were these military police freaks when one of their own were actually threatened by armed people who disavow their own government supporting an actual lawbreaker; they disappeared. I know you guys know the answer and it really gives me the sads 🙁 . #WarOnWhites

  2. Shades August 13th, 2014 at 10:26 pm


  3. Linda1961 August 13th, 2014 at 10:27 pm

    Is the entire Ferguson Police Department made up of army wannabes? They may be terrorizing the citizens of Ferguson, and while doing so, feel that they are “winning,” but in the long run, they will lose.

  4. Ed Barnes August 13th, 2014 at 10:31 pm

    Arresting reporters? No-fly zones? What’s going on in America? Land of the free?

  5. Obewon August 13th, 2014 at 10:52 pm

    In Limbaugh country Mo, their police just make-up whatever reason suits their constitutional illiteracy. Both were illegally arrested, detained, then released without paperwork or charges. The U.S. Attorney’s caseload is piling higher.

  6. Foundryman August 13th, 2014 at 11:16 pm

    The yet unnamed police officer would have nothing to fear if his name is released if he were in a locked cell with other murderers and criminals. Not releasing his name is just a cop-out….excuse the pun…

  7. Red Eye Robot August 13th, 2014 at 11:43 pm

    Tweet from Principal Deputy white house press secretary Eric Schultz while Ferguson burns, (10:17 PM) @schultz44: Readout of tonight’s social gathering coming shortly – Spoiler alert; a good time was had by all.

    • majii August 14th, 2014 at 2:01 am

      The world doesn’t come to an end, and people don’t stop everything they’re doing simply because things happen. It’s the nature of man to attending to other affairs even when we’re grieving.

    • William August 14th, 2014 at 7:42 am

      How dare the President do anything other than focus on this crisis.

  8. KB723 August 14th, 2014 at 12:02 am

    Funny how I remember this but to the best of my knowledge he has had Nothing to say as of late….

    • majii August 14th, 2014 at 1:59 am

      Where have you been?

      The president sent his condolences to Michael Brown’s family and asked the protestors to express themselves in a peaceful manner earlier this week.

      • Carla Akins August 14th, 2014 at 8:07 am

        and been mocked for by Fox and my local news for it. I am completely stunned by the reaction of my community (KC) over this incident. Currently I vacillate between embarrassment and horrified.

        • rob420bie August 14th, 2014 at 9:41 am

          Why doesn’t he speak out when White, Asian or Hispanic Americans get tuned up by the police? Granted there are fewer instances, but the most horrific case of police abuse in recent memory was the Kelly Thomas torture/murder. He didn’t say a word about that.
          I can answer that for you. Obama works for the same people the last 6 presidents have also worked for. His agenda is to create as much strife between the races as possible. It is much easier to get the real rulers agenda through when we are too busy fighting amongst each other. Race relations are far worse now than before he took office.

          • Carla Akins August 14th, 2014 at 11:58 am

            Clearly nothing I say will make a difference to you.

          • rob420bie August 14th, 2014 at 2:30 pm

            I’ll give you an easy one then. Why has Obama and the race-baiters ignored the plight of Chicago (his home). What’s happening there is almost unbelievable. It is sickening how many people are wounded and murdered on holiday weekends, and every other weekend for that matter. Don’t get me wrong the militarization of our police force and their disdain for the American public is spiraling out of control and needs to be addressed. But why aren’t black leaders as gung ho about black on black violence???

  9. Rusty Shackleford August 14th, 2014 at 12:20 am

    Hey, where are all those anti-government militant gun-toting right-wingers that went out to Nevada now? Any chance of them showing up in Ferguson, what with how much they hate jackboot government thugs?

    • rob420bie August 14th, 2014 at 9:36 am

      Maybe if they weren’t rioting and looting and burning for four straight days they would get more support. To hell with them. What happened to Kelly Thomas in Fullerton CA was a thousand times more disturbing (granted both men are dead) and there was no violence associated with those protests. Not even any violence when the murderous cops got off. So no they don’t deserve support until they can get themselves in check.

  10. greenfloyd August 14th, 2014 at 2:07 am

    The back-story, the police-killing of Michael Brown, protests, looting, these arrests, Ferguson, MO appears to be a failed American City where minority populations live in a constant state of fear and rage, hostages to forces beyond their control. Apparently also beyond the control of Ferguson’s elected officials, the city of St. Louis, and the state of Missouri…

    • Larry Schmitt August 14th, 2014 at 6:47 am

      It has nothing to do with the city of St. Louis. Ferguson is in St. Louis County, and the city of St. Louis is independent of the county.

      • greenfloyd August 14th, 2014 at 7:09 am

        Yes and I’m sure we’ll hear that often over the next few days from the Democrats who run the local political system. And perhaps you have also put your finger on eactly what’s wrong and why people in Ferguson are so mad. Also, be advised St. Louis PD, MO State Police and other local law enforcement agencies are also on the ground in Ferguson.

        • Larry Schmitt August 14th, 2014 at 7:36 am

          I’m sure it has nothing to do with the fact that, in a city that is 2/3 black, only 3 of 53 police officers are black.

          • greenfloyd August 14th, 2014 at 7:51 am

            It has everything to do with that! And more importantly this political machine’s heavy-handed response; right now there appear to be more mostly white cops in Ferguson than any protesters still facing them. The odds just keep getting worse. The looting ended Sunday night, leaving only peaceful protesters surrounded by an army in riot gear.

          • R.J. Carter August 14th, 2014 at 9:54 am

            The solution for that is for more black men to join the police academy so that there is a bigger, better hiring pool.

  11. William August 14th, 2014 at 7:40 am

    I am completely bewildered with the conduct of this police department. One of the most fundamental rules I learned about police work is that you cannot arrest, and then un-arrest someone. There must always be a charge and you must always follow through. The check and balance here is that if you stick to this rule, there will always be an actual reason/criminal act to justify the arrest. I’ve always been reluctant to Monday morning quarterback another officers actions….but. This is how it SHOULD have gone down. The McDonalds is closing ( for whatever reason), and the reporters are asked to leave. It would have been better to have the McDonalds staff do this. Now again, I am not aware of the expediency involved here or if these reporters were in any immediate danger. I don’t know if the reporters began to leave willingly, or not, but it not…….
    Missouri Criminal Law Statutes excerpt
    Trespass, 1st degree
    “A person commits the crime of trespass in the first degree if he knowingly enters unlawfully or knowingly remains unlawfully in a building or inhabitable structure or upon real property.”
    Badda bing badda boom, you type up the report and now it’s up to the court.
    OTHERWISE…and this is how I was trained.
    You put your hands on somebody, it better be to protect them from immediate harm or facilitate an arrest, otherwise you as an officer can be charged with unlawful restraint and or kidnapping.
    Back in the day, you’d run into a kid with a six pack. If you were old school you’d make him pour out the beer and call his parents. If you were really, REALLY old school you’d drive him to skid row and show him what booze does to people. If you were by the book, you’d seize the beer, tag it and store it in evidence, charge the kid, notify his/her parents and get juvenile involved. If you were a bad cop, you’d take the beer home. One fine Saturday night an officer from a large city seized a 12 pack from a 19 year old pre law student. No summons was issued, and no evidence form was filled out. The officer eventually pled guilty to theft by unauthorized taking or transfer.

    • Carla Akins August 14th, 2014 at 8:04 am

      You can see part of it here:

      • William August 14th, 2014 at 8:19 am

        Now my question is, why is the reporter taping instead of leaving? Again I don’t like to back seat drive, but I can almost see myself in the same situation. You’re assigned to a tense event and you’ve got a lot to do in a short time. I wonder about the reason for the expediency, and the situation around the McDonalds. I have been in situations where I was busy with something, accident scene, fire, etc., and needed people to leave the scene. When it becomes clear that the person involved wants to play twenty questions instead of complying, it’s time to relocate them yourself.
        It’s unfortunate that we don’t have video and timeline from the moment they were directed to leave. Lots of unanswered questions.

    • mea_mark August 14th, 2014 at 10:27 am

      From this picture it appears to be the middle of the day. I wonder why they were closing, or if they really were?

      • William August 14th, 2014 at 11:01 am

        It’s a very good question. Too many variables that are unanswered.

  12. R.J. Carter August 14th, 2014 at 9:46 am

    Has anyone called the McDonald’s manager to find out (a) how many times he asked the crowd to leave the establishment and (b) why he decided to call the police in the first place?