There are a lot of signs that things are being mishandled in Ferguson, Mo., where unarmed black teenager Michael Brown was shot multiple times and killed by a police officer on August 9. One of them is the arrest without cause of Washington Post reporter Wesley Lowery yesterday.
The killing was followed by an incomplete and hard-to-believe explanation by St. Louis County Police. And Ferguson, which has a history of racial tensions, has seen civil unrest since the incident. Lowery is one of the reporters documenting that unrest. And as a testament to the inability of the police there to respond effectively to the protests, he was arrested while charging his phone in a McDonald’s.
Here’s Lowery’s account:
“One instructed me to exit to my left. As I turned left, another officer emerged, blocking my path.
“‘Go another way,’ he said.
“As I turned, my backpack, which was slung over one shoulder, began to slip. I said, ‘Officers, let me just gather my bag.’ As I did, one of them said, ‘Okay, let’s take him.’
“Multiple officers grabbed me. I tried to turn my back to them to assist them in arresting me. I dropped the things from my hands.
“‘My hands are behind my back,’ I said. ‘I’m not resisting. I’m not resisting.’ At which point one officer said: ‘You’re resisting. Stop resisting.’
“That was when I was most afraid — more afraid than of the tear gas and rubber bullets.
“As they took me into custody, the officers slammed me into a soda machine, at one point setting off the Coke dispenser. They put plastic cuffs on me, then they led me out the door.”
Lowery was later released without charge after an LA Times reporter called Ferguson police to investigate the arrest.
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