On October 3, 2017, in St. Louis, Missouri, members of independent media were arrested and assaulted by police officers, in clear violation of their 1st Amendment rights. The journalists, which included Jordan Chariton of the Young Turks News Network and his cameraman, were covering the protest of yet another shooting by a police officer – this time clearly premeditated – of a young, unarmed black man.
Police had set up a barricade to contain the angry demonstrators, blocking any escape route they may have had, and then promptly ordered everyone, including members of the media, to disburse.
When Mr. Chariton, captured on video, started asking questions of law enforcement, he and his cameraman, were promptly arrested and incarcerated. There, they witnessed mistreatment of “prisoners.”
This, according to Mr. Chariton, involved the confiscation and withholding of psychiatric mediations from a young man, who nearly began to enter a psychotic break in his jail cell. Another person had her diabetes medication withheld. Food and water were also withheld.
Racial slurs were frequently also used against those arrested. Jordan’s camaraman is black and was handled more roughly by police, according to Jordan’s report.
In total, over 100 protesters and media were arrested that day. The police department could not be reached by TYT or other media for comment after clearly violating the 1st Amendment.
Journalist/Investigative Reporter Jordan Chariton’s account of the debacle, as well as footage from the incident, can be seen above.
The protests were reported as being almost entirely peaceful, despite demonstrators briefly blocking a major highway, which seemed to precipitate the mass arrests by St. Louis Police.
The response from the mayor of St. Louis in the aftermath can be seen below.
Mr. Chariton is planning to return to St. Louis for further reporting on the situation there in the coming weeks, after briefly visiting the city of East Chicago, where the running water situation is dire.
More to come on the 1st Amendment crisis in America.