Journalists sue police for abuse in Ferguson protests

2015-03-31 09:37
Ferguson police. (Scott Olson, AFP)

Ferguson police. (Scott Olson, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Ferguson - Four journalists arrested while covering racial unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, last year filed a lawsuit on Monday claiming they were battered and falsely arrested by police trying to hinder their ability to cover the protests.

The journalists claim in their lawsuit that police officers used excessive force and intimidation tactics, including shooting at them with rubber bullets, to try to stop the journalists from recording police activity.

Sometimes violent protests erupted in Ferguson, a St Louis suburb, after the 9 August fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager by a white police officer. Protesters from around the country converged on the small community, and the state brought in police officers from around the region, as well as the National Guard, to try to quell the unrest.

The lawsuit, which was filed in US District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, names as defendants the St Louis County Police Department, and 20 of its officers who were sent into Ferguson to help provide security, as well as St Louis County.

The suit was brought by Ryan Devereaux, a journalist with Intercept/First Look Media; Lukas Hermsmeier, a freelance journalist for German news outlets; Ansgar Graw, a political correspondent for German news outlets; and Frank Herrmann, a correspondent for German newspapers.

There was no immediate comment from St Louis County or the police department.

Rubber bullets

The lawsuit does not name the 20 officers sued as defendants, but states that they were working on 18 August and/or 19 August when they encountered the plaintiffs.

Devereaux and Hermsmeier claim they had been interviewing protesters and were attempting to return to their car when police shot them with rubber bullets and then arrested them and left them in handcuffs for several hours.

Graw and Herrmann claim they were attempting to interview people and take photos just before they were also arrested and detained in painful plastic handcuffs that left their hands numb.

The lawsuit claims the actions against the journalists were part of a "concerted effort to suppress constitutionally protected newsgathering."

Read more on:    michael brown  |  us  |  police brutality

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.