The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a lawsuit Tuesday on behalf of Trey Yingst, a Washington-based reporter for News2Share, against St. Louis County and St. Louis Police Lieutenant James Vollmer for allegedly violating his rights by arresting him while covering the protests in Ferguson, The St. Louis Business Journal first reported.
According to the complaint, Yingst was arrested on Nov 22. for refusing to stop filming the protests after police asked him to move to another location. The lawsuit said Yingst told the police officer “Sir, I’m just standing on a public sidewalk.” The officer, Vollmer, then told his colleagues to “lock him up.” Yingst was taken into custody for “unlawful assembly” and held overnight.
The complaint also accuses the police department of defaming Yingst by Tweeting about his arrest on Twitter–saying he refused officers’ orders to clear the street. He says the Tweet was potentially damaging to his professional reputation.
Yingst is one of a handful of reporters, including The Washington Post’s Wesley Lowrey and The Huffington Post’s Ryan Reilly, who were arrested while covering the protests in Ferguson.