News Coalition Condemns Police Treatment Of Journalists In Ferguson

A large coalition of media and press freedom groups have written to police forces in Ferguson, Missouri to protest the harassment of journalists covering the protests there.

Reporters have been arrested, assaulted, teargassed, and threatened repeatedly in the days following the shooting of Michael Brown by police officer Darren Wilson.

48 organizations, including the Associated Press, Time Inc., Reporters Without Borders, the Tribune Company, The Huffington Post, the New Yorker, the National Press Club, Fox News, Hearst and First Look Media, sent a letter to officials in the Ferguson and St. Louis County police departments, as well as the Missouri Highway Patrol.

"As organizations that cover news and defend the rights of journalists to gather the news, we write to express our deep concern over the unwarranted detention of two journalists on Wednesday and with other reports of police intimidation and harassment of journalists in Ferguson," they wrote.

The letter focused particularly on journalists who were harassed or threatened merely for covering what was happening on the ground in Ferguson.

"Officers on the ground must understand that gathering news and recording police activities are not crimes," the organizations wrote. "The actions in Ferguson demonstrate a lack of training among local law enforcement in the protections required by the First Amendment as well as the absence of respect for the role of newsgatherers."

Read the full letter here.

(h/t Poynter)