The American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri argued to a federal judge Monday that St. Louis County and Missouri State Highway Patrol are enforcing an unconstitutional "five second rule" that allows cops to arrest protesters at will.
Danny Wicentowski Officers arresting protesters the night of August 18. Nineteen people were charged with failing to disperse that day.
Known as either the "five second rule" or "keep moving rule," the controversial police tactic was sprung on protesters August 18, nine days after Ferguson cop Darren Wilson shot and killed eighteen-year-old Michael Brown. Police threatened protesters with arrest if they stopped moving, forcing crowds into grueling marches to avoid violating the ill-defined rule.
According to the witnesses brought by the ACLU, police used the tactic arbitrarily, harassing some protesters and letting others go. St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar admitted yesterday the rule even confused officers, who misinterpreted his orders and used the "five second rule" to arrest protesters during the peaceful daytime hours.More »