At the end of another dangerous night in Ferguson, Missouri State Highway Patrol Captain Ron Johnson offered an emotional plea to the media on Monday: Please stop putting officers in danger and glamorizing violent agitators in your quest for Internet virality.
Danny Wicentowski Captain Ron Johnson briefs the media.
Johnson seemed near tears as he illustrated the danger the press face in Ferguson -- earlier that night, reporters disobeyed police orders and fled the media corral to take pictures of a car parked across the street before officers could secure two guns. Johnson said police suspect the occupants of the car opened fire at the Canfield Green Apartments that night.
Journalists defied Johnson's plea, and it's easy to understand why they're even more distrusting than usual. Any journalist covering Ferguson at night has likely been tear gassed, if not hit by debris, rubber bullets, pepper pellets or bean bags. Police have threatened to shoot, mace and arrest reporters, sometimes on live TV or feeds. Officers have detained reporters from the Washington Post, Huffington Post, Getty Images and more, releasing them later without answers.More »