November 2, 2014 11:04 pm -

St. Louis County police initiated a no-fly zone over Ferguson to keep out the media, reports the Associated Press.


On Aug. 12, the morning after the Federal Aviation Administration imposed the first flight restriction, FAA air traffic managers struggled to redefine the flight ban to let commercial flights operate at nearby Lambert-St. Louis International Airport and police helicopters fly through the area — but ban others.

“They finally admitted it really was to keep the media out,” said one FAA manager about the St. Louis County Police in a series of recorded telephone conversations obtained by The Associated Press. “But they were a little concerned of, obviously, anything else that could be going on.

At another point, a manager at the FAA’s Kansas City center said police “did not care if you ran commercial traffic through this TFR (temporary flight restriction) all day long. They didn’t want media in there.”…

The conversations contradict claims by the St. Louis County Police Department, which responded to demonstrations following the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown, that the restriction was solely for safety and had nothing to do with preventing media from witnessing the violence or the police response.

Police said at the time, and again as recently as late Friday to the AP, that they requested the flight restriction in response to shots fired at a police helicopter.

But police officials confirmed there was no damage to their helicopter and were unable to provide an incident report on the shooting. On the tapes, an FAA manager described the helicopter shooting as unconfirmed “rumors.”

The AP obtained the recordings under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act. They raise serious questions about whether police were trying to suppress aerial images of the demonstrations and the police response by violating the constitutional rights of journalists with tacit assistance by federal officials.[su_csky_ad]

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.

6 responses to AP: No-Fly Zone Over Ferguson Was To Suppress News Coverage

  1. tiredoftea November 2nd, 2014 at 11:18 pm

    They close bridges, they create no fly zones, they fix elections. Welcome to democracy in the 21st century!

    • Ayn Awnemus November 2nd, 2014 at 11:54 pm

      Very troubling indeed. Transparency? What transparency?

    • whatthe46 November 2nd, 2014 at 11:57 pm

      but, they have nothing to hide. its getting worse.

      • tiredoftea November 3rd, 2014 at 12:14 am

        It’s more like they don’t hide anything and have no shame when caught.

        • whatthe46 November 3rd, 2014 at 2:02 am

          you’re absolutely right.

  2. greenfloyd November 3rd, 2014 at 5:43 am

    Wow! Bravo to Associated Press following the trajectory of those “unconfirmed rumors” sans incident report, again.