Michael Brown Shooting

St. Louis County Police Violate Court Order By Arresting Journalist Standing on Sidewalk

And nobody seems to be in charge as grand jury decision looms


Cops in Ferguson
Aaron Malin

A credentialed member of the media was arrested in Ferguson around 11:40 pm Saturday night. The arrest appeared to violate a court order issued Friday prohibiting the police from arresting law-abiding journalists.

Lieutenant Jerry Lohr of the Saint Louis County Police Department later told myself and other members of the media that the journalist was arrested for "failure to disperse" from a street, despite the fact that I, as well as approximately one hundred other protesters and media clearly witnessed the arrest take place on the sidewalk.

Saint Louis County police then tweeted from their official account that Trey Yingst, a reporter from D.C., had been arrested for failure to disperse because he "was asked to leave street by the commander and refused." The tweet was met with a backlash of dozens of contradicting reports, photos, and videos from individuals on the scene who saw what I saw: a reporter being arrested for taking photos on a public sidewalk.

The Saint Louis County Police Department tweet refers to Lieutenant Vollmer as "the commander," but the other Lieutenant on scene disagreed. When I asked which of the two lieutenants was in charge, Lieutenant Lohr said "well, it's kind of a…unified command" which roughly translates to "no one is responsible for what happens here." 

At least Lieutenant Lohr was willing to talk to media. He made a clear effort throughout the evening to engage respectfully with protesters and media. He spent a lot of time throughout the evening answer questions from protesters who wanted to talk with him, and was extremely courteous in dealing with my relatively critical line of questioning. After watching the other out-of-control lieutenant arrest a journalist in an outburst of rage, I asked Lt. Lohr why he wasn't the one dealing with protesters:

MALIN: Is he another on-scene commander?

Lt. LOHR: Yeah, he's a lieutenant from the county.

MALIN: Ok, so who is in charge on-scene? Is it him, or you? Or…

Lt. LOHR: Well, it's kind of a….unified command.

MALIN: Ok, I'll be blunt with you. He's being a jackass, and you're being extremely polite.

Lt. LOHR: I know. 

MALIN: Don't you think it would be better for you to deal with the protesters and not him?

Lt. LOHR: Whose water is this?

RYAN REILLY: I don't know. It doesn't look open to me.

Lt. LOHR: I'm really thirsty.

MALIN: I don't blame you, but I think that was a fair question.

Lt. LOHR: No no no no, I understand what you're saying. If you're asking me—you know, I mean, ultimately the deal is, is, my approach may be different than his, but we're trying to accomplish the same goal.

MALIN: Right.

Lt. LOHR: And whether you like it or not, uLt.imately you can't block the road.

MALIN: He wasn't in the road. He was on the sidewalk.

Lt. LOHR: Here's the deal—essentially, basically, this is a failure to disperse situation.

RYAN REILLY: He was—that guy wasn't in the road. He was standing on the sidewalk.

Lt. LOHR: Ok, well I wasn't down there, all right? I was up here.

MALIN: Ok. Let me ask you another question. Are you familiar with the court order that came down Friday?

Lt. LOHR: Yeah, for… well…

MALIN: The one keeping you guys from arresting journalists.

Lt. LOHR: Well no, it says—well, okay yes I am familiar with that.

MALIN: Yes, okay. How do you think that interacts with the arrest that just happened?

Lt. LOHR: I think if you break the law you can be arrested.

RYAN REILLY:  He wasn't breaking the law. Everybody saw.

The Saint Louis County Police Department blatantly violated a one-day-old court order that, among other things:

Ordered that Defendant County of St. Louis, Missouri, its officers, agents, servants, employees, attorneys, and all persons under their supervision, or within their control, are permanently enjoined from interfering with individuals who are photographing or recording at public places but who are not threatening the safety of others or physically interfering with the ability of law enforcement to perform their duties.

With hundreds of lawyers in St. Louis to observe the police response to protests, tonight's arrest seems likely to result in a court challenge. I'll keep you updated on that story and others in the coming days.

NEXT: Aaron Malin on the Wait for a Grand Jury Decision in Ferguson

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  1. This is why I have a hard time believing the official report and the cop’s report of the Brown shooting.He may have been justified in shooting Brown ,but,the police continue to lie and ignore court orders and harass reporters.It seems police departments across the country never admit fault and threaten those who take them to task. Their attitudes turn even small things like traffic tickets,jay walking,grilling in front of you house and selling ‘illegal’ cigs in to a violent encounter.

    1. I’m a bit more clearheaded now than I was back when this shooting first took place, but I still cannot bring myself to believe the police version of events.

      In any given situation, one should assume that the police are lying. They lie about everything, save for the occasional mask slip where they truthfully proclaim “we can do whatever we want” as they did with me.

      If you encounter a police officer and live, it is only because the officer didn’t feel like filling out the paperwork your bloody murder would create. Remember that.

      1. You are a raving lunatic. If you got shot, you would probably deserve it. hell I would probably shoot you myself if you ran your mouth like that to me. idiot.

    2. The police can lie to us, even when trying to extract confessions from us. But I believe it’s a crime for us to lie to them, isn’t it? That just seems wrong.

      1. Police are so accustomed to lying to people, lying on reports, and lying in court, that they are incapable of telling the truth. They just can’t do it. Everything must be a lie by omission, exaggeration, or outright fabrication. Doesn’t matter what it is, they are compelled to lie about it.

    3. I have the same apprehension. The cop shot a guy at some 30 feet, and I find the evidence that he was being ‘charged’ flimsy.

      1. And I find that your ability to be rational is beyond flimsy.

    4. There is a simple solution to the vexing problem of which testimony to believe: the cops or the peeps who get arrested.

      Just as the the Supreme Court has ruled (out of thin air as the requirement is nowhere in the constitution) that cops must read peeps who are arrested the Miranda warning (and failure to do so voids any incriminating statements); the Supremes need only rule that cops must wear cams & their police vehicles must have dash cams. And failure to have recorded the events leading up to an arrest result in dismissal of any charges.

      Simple. And the end of he said/she said.

  2. I feel sorry for the property owners/residents. They’re trapped between two gangs of thugs. On one hand, there are the rioters, and on the other the police. If I lived there, I’d move. Anywhere.

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  4. Sorry, Bub. Mistake Number One is expecting the police to act in a lawful manner.

    1. Do you morons ever wonder why the general public doesn’t take you seriously?

  5. Obama is in charge. Well, he will be just as soon as he learns about the situation on the teevee.

  6. Speaking of Reason and Ferguson, some guy over at Pando Daily is foaming at the mouth over Reason contributor Bob Poole:


    A choice bit:

    . But Poole was a right-wing renegade who floated all sorts of extreme politics for their time, many of which have been adopted, others ? like Reason magazine’s promotion of Holocaust deniers, and its many articles defending white-rule apartheid in South Africa, all published under Poole’s editorial watch ? were later buried. Of course, Poole’s courageous libertarian proposals to privatize every corner of our lives owe something to his powerful sponsors ? a Pentagon DARPA contractor, General Research Corporation, which funded Poole’s first research into privatizing America’s cities; and the Koch brothers, who began funding Poole’s Reason magazine in the early 1970s, and helped Poole set up the Reason Foundation, the seminal neoliberal ideas mill for privatizing every granular corner of our public space.

    1. From what I know, I think the guy spelled the names correctly.

    2. My understanding is that he has been foaming for quite some time, and hasn’t stopped beating a dead horse from thirty+ years ago after Reason recently published a response article discussing the accusation.

      Personal vendetta + nothing more productive to do with his time = ?

      1. Ames is on a decade long mission to blame libertarianism for anything and everything possible, going so far as to blame criticism of the TSA on a Koch-fueled conspiracy, or targeting Radley Balko as a ‘corporate shill’ who must be destroyed – his latest thing seems to be creating a firestorm around Uber to ensure that nothing ever challenge the legitimacy of the regulatory state.

        The last time i heard his name mentioned, he’d written an exhaustive expose of Reason as ‘historically racist’ because there was an issue… 37 years ago …. where someone said controversial things about the holocaust.

        He’s *real* classy.

    3. It’s Mark Ames. No one with an IQ over 55 still takes him seriously.

      Ames is an obsessed, mentally ill psychopath who inexplicably still gets work in some of the darker corners of the internet. He’s also great evidence of why the only person I read at Pando is The War Nerd.

      1. “Ames is an obsessed, mentally ill psychopath”

        He’s a more-articulate Mary with a penis

        1. I’m of the belief that, similar to Finkle=Einhorn, Ames=Mary

      2. Is The War Nerd now even the same guy as when it was a column in The Exile? The syntax seems different. Too bad, as Dolan had some of the most perceptive observations of human behavior that I’ve ever read.

  7. I imagined the Imperial March from Star Wars when I read this bit:

    In 1971, when libertarianism was still a budding project of a handful of wealthy right-wing MIT grads ? the Koch brothers, Poole, and Poole’s former MIT roommate, David Nolan, founder of the Libertarian Party ? Poole laid out his strategy for transforming “statist” America into “laissez-faire” America. Since laissez-faire libertarians would always be a tiny minority, Poole wrote, they should organize in tight-knit groups and “permeate” strategic levers of power. He cited Opus Dei under dictator General Franco in Spain, and the economic technocrats under Brazil’s military junta that year, as two examples that libertarians could emulate.

    We have Kochs, RACISM!, Robber Barons, fake Republicans, the whole 9 yards! The only thing that’s missing is orphan slaves and Ayn Rand.

    1. “We have Kochs, RACISM!, Robber Barons, fake Republicans, the whole 9 yards! The only thing that’s missing is orphan slaves and Ayn Rand.”

      Since Opus Dei is mentioned you might add albino monk assassins to the list.

    2. I never knew libertarianism was so cool!

      1. I for one look forward to taking over the world and leaving you alone!

        1. You’re a monster, Sevo!

    3. In 1971, when libertarianism was still a budding project of a handful of wealthy right-wing MIT grads

      Yes..those “right wing” libertarians.

      Anyone else getting sick of people who view the world in one dimension?

      1. Speaking of MIT (and NOT of Gruber):

        “How Players at MIT Engineered a Football Team”
        “This Season, the Engineers Are Going to Playoffs, but They Once Competed in Hand-Me-Downs”
        “”Cosine, secant, tangent, sine/
        3 point 14159!/
        Integral, radical, mu, DV/
        Slip stick, slide rule, M-I-T!”

      2. *raises hand*

      3. It makes my ass tired that so many people seem to think there is one line from left to right and everyone else must take their assigned place on that line.

        1. You prefer to tow the lion?

        2. I just assumed that the line was for people who wanted to get their “Change You can Believe In” tee shirt signed by King Obama.

      4. Not taking is giving and not giving is taking.

        Libertarians don’t want to use the government to rob the rich and give to the poor, therefore libertarians want to rob the poor and give to the rich.

        1. Not taking is giving and not giving is taking.

          How does christmas work?

  8. Sweet Jeebus, War Nerd is a jerk! Apparently, Obama’s problem is he isn’t a good war cheer leader:

    Everybody says it’s race, but that’s not exactly right. Suppose Samuel L. Jackson was president when the SEALs got Osama; I guarantee you, even the nastiest racists you can find ? like, say, a tow-truck driver in SE Missouri ? would be man-crushing Samuel L. when he went on tv to do a death gloat over Osama, hugging the widescreen at the vision of a big angry black dude, OUR angry black dude, spitting on Osama’s bloody corpse.

    Obama’s from a way smaller and less popular minority: the sane, self-controlled type. These people are useful, maybe, but they can’t gloat over an enemy’s corpse worth a damn. So he’s useless to us doughy losers out there in nowheresville; he can’t make us feel better even a little, no matter how right he gets the policy.

    War Nerd, bringing the derp with thunder and lightning!

    1. vision of a big angry black dude

      Obama’s from a way smaller and less popular minority

      I am going to assume that this was written by someone who is on the left of the left/right paradigm and imagine what would be thought of this person if they were right-leaning.

    2. Damn, what a freak.

    3. I see nothing wrong with his comment. He’s castigating the public as much as the ‘theatrics of war’, and Obama’s poor performance of them.

      Gary often writes about how an un-affected American population treats war like so much televised sports, and that when not provided the right signals of “spiking the football” is left unfulfilled. History is rife with elaborate self-congratulatory rituals of triumph; should Obama have held a ticker-tape parade and stuck Osama’s head on a pike down at the trade center? Probably not; but Brecher is right that Obama fails to inspire public confidence in his ability to ‘act decisively’

      Obama’s clinical, self-conscious attitude entirely unsuited for war leadership. which is partly why he was elected = people were tired of that schtick. However, when ISIS started cutting off American’s heads and waving their dicks at us, people respond poorly to statements like, “Islam is a religion of peace” and “We don’t have a strategy”

      Brecher’s hyperbolic style is extremely unsuited for selected quoting; the average isolated statement he makes tends to sound crazy. However, as far as his ‘big picture’ analysis of modern war, he can often be remarkably astute – more so than many ‘serious’, institutional, academic policy types.

      One personal favorite of mine was his conclusion that “India and Pakistan = Too Faggy For War

      1. He sure put those, Missouri tow-truck drivers in their place.

        1. Well thanks for completely missing the point. Does it also offend you that he finds the mannerisms of agitated South Asians to be extraordinarily ‘faggy’ as well, or do you like to be selective in your ‘taking umbrage’?

          1. You’re right. The one bigoted comment validates the other.

            1. No, its that you’re an ignorant cunt that hasn’t even read the article… and thinks anything that strikes you as ‘offensive’ means you get to morally posture as though your sensitivity to cultural slander makes a superior being. In the same article Gary casts himself in the role of the ‘fat, white, unwashed middle-american that can’t stand Obama’s elitism’; you can’t really point fingers at ‘bigotry’ when the person throws mud at everyone in equally-appropriate amounts.

              If you’re too fucking stupid to read past things that you consider culturally offensive, you’re a child that shouldn’t be reading adult material. Please eat a bag of dicks and go somewhere where pretending to be offended wins you cool-points.

              1. Oh, I recognize his shtick. You seem to be easily impressed. No problem.

                1. “”easily impressed””

                  He’s been writing exclusively about military history online for 13+ years, and has repeatedly demonstrated a comprehensive understanding of longstanding violent conflicts all over the planet. While you may scoff at his politically-incorrect lack of cultural sensitivity in terms of *language*, he’s actually far more conscious of cultural roots of conflict and has a far finer appreciation of mass-psychology than most academic historians.

                  So, no, I’m not “easily impressed” – i just read more than you do, and generally know what i’m talking about.

                  1. *and doggone it, people like me!*

                  2. *i just read more than you.* Archie comics don’t count.

                    1. He DID say in another thread that he doesn’t have a job.

                      I guess that means he has more time to read.

      2. Excellent comment.

      3. Holy shit, this is awesome:

        And the really sad thing is the villagers ? on the Indian side of the border, anyway ? can’t even eat the sacred-cow meat. That’s one good argument for Islam, I guess: at least you can eat the cattle-casualties. Or maybe not, because the Muslims have that whole “halal” deal where you can only eat animals killed in the proper Mohammedan manner. I doubt if an 82-mm mortar is an Imam-approved slaughtering device.

        This is why the War Nerd is great.

      4. The border closing ceremony is much better evidence for silliness:


    4. The only thing wrong with that comment is that Obama is neither sane nor self-controlled.

    1. Without having read the article, i pretty much backtracked from your quote to an assumption of what he was on about, and I was generally on the money

      If you’d put this before your quote, it may have made more sense – particularly to people who think he was ‘insulting’ middle americans or something =

      ” Obama never got the cheers he expected, but we all know why. It’s simple: There are two tribes in America and neither one was in a mood to cheer. Obama’s liberal fans couldn’t cheer because they have some taboo about parading around with your enemy’s head on a stick. They think it’s crude or something, “a regrettable necessity”… the other tribe, the flyover state white glob I come from, would sooner comp bin Laden a suite in Vegas than give Obama any creds for taking him down.

      …Obama is stuck in the crotch of big demographic forked stick, between the sullen majority and the queasy coastals. The coastals don’t want a war chief, and the sullen doughboys can’t see him in the job.”

      If you wanted to really pick something that Gary gets un-fucking-believably wrong in his piece, its the part where in 2012 he says that “Iraq’s ethnic cleansing has brought stability”, more or less. He does accurately point out that we’ve handed the country to Iran – but that was inevitable.

      1. Obama’s approval rating went up after the bin Laden raid. And a bunch of Republicans praised him, albeit grudgingly.

        Even Rush Limbaugh and a few nice words:


        1. And yeah, he gets sarcastic within 30 seconds, but still.

        2. Sure.

          It doesn’t change Gary’s point (at the time) in any way; he was observing that Obama had delivered a coup de main in the War On Terror, yet few people (either the left or right) really felt it delivered the goods in the ‘appearances’ department (aka ‘political theatrics’) I find this hard to argue with. Particularly considering that the story quickly turned to things like how his admin was leaking details to friendly media, how he’d hosted Hollywood directors to see classified intelligence… it was generally bad stage-management.

          He seemed to think Obama had done a better-than-expected job handling the drawdown of Iraq, the ‘counter-insurgency by drone’ policy in Pakistan, the nixing of Ghaddafi (“the biggest, most impressive win of all, and naturally it got the biggest, sulkiest silence.“), etc. That Obama deserved more credit than he was receiving, yet that Obama himself was to blame for his poor ‘cheerleading’ skills.

          In retrospect, many of the things Gary wanted to give Obama credit for have turned out to be blunders. But I do think he accurately characterizes Obama’s dilemma as a ‘War Leader’ – the Left pretends he’s cleaning up Bush’s mess, and doesn’t get ‘credit or blame’; the Right thinks he’s a gutless bureaucrat. Obama’s legacy will not include any ‘victory’ in the WoT at all; if anything, it appears to be prolonging it.

        3. In a quasi-related theme =

          re: the Left’s insistence that Obama continue to serve their *narrative* of a leader who is ‘un-doing’ the War Leadership of Bush…

          …goes so far as to create the story out of thin air

          Crediting Obama for Bringing Troops Home?Without Noting He Sent Them Abroad”

          “On NPR’s Morning Edition (5/26/14), Scott Horsley told listeners:

          Some 32,000 Americans are currently serving in Afghanistan, a war the president is determined to wind down by year’s end.”

          as noted earlier = this ‘winding down’ apparently is ‘winding up’ again

          “” Moments later, [NPR] added this history:

          This is Obama’s fourth visit to Afghanistan as president and his first since 2012. Since that time, US troop levels here have been cut by about two-thirds.
          …in reality, current US troop levels?about 32,000?are actually about what they were when Obama took office (Think Progress, 6/22/11). A graph that accompanied an NPR story (6/29/11) shows this pretty clearly.

          Late last year the New York Times offered similarly misleading spin (FAIR Blog, 11/25/13), reporting that Obama “has reduced the forces in Afghanistan from about 100,000 in 2010 to about 47,000 today.” That’s technically true, but ignores the fact that the troop levels had only gotten that high as a result of Obama’s policy of massive escalation.”

          1. I tried explaining this to a liberal friend of mine, but I had to stop when he began turning blue from holding his breath and plugging his ears.

            They don’t care about the truth, only the narrative.

      2. Excuse me, I know you are quoting someone else, but Obama did not take him down. Seal Team six took him down. Obama pulled a Pres Johnson and pulled out the troops, thereby giving rise to ISIS. Just as you alluded to.

  9. After watching the other out-of-control lieutenant arrest a journalist in an outburst of rage, I asked Lt. Lohr why he wasn’t the one dealing with protesters:

    A more pertinent question:

    Why aren’t you arresting the cop who just broke the court order?

    1. I’m quite confident that thought never even passed by him, let alone got a foothold.

  10. Wow, what a scoop! Of course, the fact that the guy was arrested on the sidewalk does not prove he failed to clear the street when requested.
    It’s quite obvious that journalists are provoking unrest and are a part of the story, not simply observers.

    1. Spoken like a true fascist.

    2. That should be obvious to most rational people, but it seems the ignorant loons here are so anti-law enforcement that they will not ever believe a cop acted legally.

      Why they would believe “journalists” that lie for a living is beyond me.

  11. How can the courts enforce an order? Exactly.

    1. Hire private security forces?

      1. Courts vs. Cops, tonight at eleven.

        1. If the judge wanted to be a real asshole, cops lose. That Baltimore detective came within a red cunt hair of ending up in city jail for telling a judge to piss off.

  12. If you’d put this before your quote, it may have made more sense

    I have no scorpion in this jar. I haven’t read any of it, but:

    Reason’s character limit (thanks Mary, or whatever you are) frequently prevent *me* from pasting a sufficient portion of an article to provide context.

  13. I wonder how many articles got posted today from cops who have lost faith in humanity. I wonder how many are whining about how mistreated and misunderstood they are. Goddammit, they shouldn’t have to lie in this lumpy, dirty, cold bed. They are heroes for fuck’s sake.

  14. St. Louis County Police Violate Court Order By Arresting Journalist Standing on Sidewalk – And nobody seems to be in charge as grand jury decision looms

    I suspect that the guys violating court orders with impunity are the ones in charge, and the violating the court order is to make sure you understand that. We’ve got guns and immunity, we’ll fuck you up and nobody’s gonna say shit about it.

    1. We’ve got guns and immunity, we’ll fuck you up and nobody’s gonna say shit about it.

      They are then honestly perplexed when rioting occurs.

      1. To intentionally mangle a quote, “Those who make peaceful redress of grievances impossible make violent redress of grievances inevitable.”

  15. Time for a lawsuit for wrongful arrest. And the court to fine the bastard for contempt of court.

    1. If the judge has balls, (s) he’ll do more than fine.

      1. Yeah. Someone needs about thirty days in general population. Assuming he survives, he might get the message. And if he doesn’t, his fellow gang bangers certainly will.

  16. So the courts issued an order, and it works as physical armor about as well as any other piece of paper. Since police ignored it, the solution is to get the court to issue a second piece of paper?

    Why would that second sheet of paper succeed where one sheet already failed?

    1. Ask yourself that question the day after eating a really hot curry and you’ll have your answer.

  17. Meanwhile, 2 more murders in St. Louis


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  19. Reason is now making things up – claiming vieo shows an “out of control Police lieutenant” arresting one of their own fellow journalists. The video shows nothing of the sort – it shows a guy being arrested. The fact that the arrestis actualy made on the sidewalk tells younothing about what went on before and why the guy was arrested. Malin hasn’t a clue …..

  20. Again and again Reason twists facts to make their lunatic points.

    1. Quit acting as if you can think, dummy.

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