News Crews Hit with Tear Gas, Bean Bags in Ferguson; Police: ‘We Don’t Want You Here’

By Mark Joyella Comment

ferguson news crews

KSDK photographers and a photographer were approached at gunpoint Wednesday night by police in Ferguson, Missouri, who said “we don’t want you here,” according to a report by KSDK reporter Casey Nolan filed early Thursday morning.

Two KSDK-TV photojournalists and reporter Elizabeth Matthews were filing a story for the St. Louis NBC affiliate about the cancellation of school, with their live truck positioned in a Ferguson neighborhood just outside a perimeter established by police.

Shortly after 9 p.m., police in riot gear began dispersing demonstrators about a quarter of a mile from the crew’s location. The KSDK crew captured video of police using tear gas in the neighborhood, with one canister hitting a crew from Al Jazeera America, sending the crew running (video after the jump). The KSDK crew says police then came to them:

From there, the KSDK crew says police approached them with “guns drawn.” Matthews says she and one photojournalist were in the SUV with their hands up and the third member of their crew got down on his knees in front of the SUV and raised his hand – telling police he was with the press.

Matthews says police told them they received a call that members of the media were in danger and in need of assistance. All three members of the KSDK crew say they were never in danger and never asked for assistance.

At this point, the video shows still photographers gathered around the KSDK crew. Police tell the journalists to follow them out of the neighborhood when one person is heard saying “We’re OK here.” Another voice says “We don’t want you here. Somebody’s going to get hurt. We don’t want to see you guys get hurt.” The KSDK crew says that is the voice of a police officer.

The KSDK crew says the officers directed them out of the neighborhood and they complied.

KSDK says they have asked police for an explanation, but have not received a response.