Officer appears to threaten cameraman covering chaos in Ferguson

A Ferguson police officer appears to threaten a local journalist on Sunday night, with the incident recorded on camera. A police officer can be heard shouting, "get the f--k out of here and keep that light off or you're getting shelled with this." (KARG Argus Radio/Mustafa Hussein)

Tensions erupted yet again in Ferguson, Mo., Sunday night as the community responded to the ongoing controversy around the fatal shooting of unarmed teenager Michael Brown. And law enforcement on the ground continued to aggressively respond to media covering the situation.

"Get the f--k out of here and keep that light off or you're getting shelled with this," an officer appeared to shout at Mustafa Hussein, the operator of the Argus Radio Livestream channel, "You're in our way!"

Prior to the incident, Hussein could be seen using a light to get a better view of the scene, but did not appear to be directly blocking police activity. Another journalist on the ground could be heard in the recording calling the police reaction "heinous."


Tear gas and smoke wafts around the site of a protest of the death of Michael Brown August 17, 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri. Tensions still run high in the Ferguson community after 18 -year-old Michael Brown was killed by a Ferguson police officer August 9 on Canfield Drive. (Photo by Joshua Lott/Getty Images)

A police official identifying himself as Captain Todd approached Hussein after the confrontation, telling him to "calm down" and asking him to keep the light off. "I promise you I will keep this light off, but I am a member of the media," Hussein responded.

Hussein requested the name of the officer who apparently threatened him, but did not seem to get it. Later in the livestream, he noted he did receive Todd's card and would be following up for the name of the officer in the morning.

Argus Radio is an independent digital radio station focusing on urban music from nearby Maplewood which launched a year ago. It recently purchased equipment to record concerts, but this equipment was first deployed Wednesday night to capture chaos on the ground in Ferguson, according to The Huffington Post. Hussein is a graduate student at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

Early in Sunday evening, Sports Illustrated reporter Robert Klemko tweeted he and two other journalists were briefly arrested while attempting to cover the situation on the ground.

On Wednesday night, Washington Post reporter Wesley Lowery and Huffington Post reporter Ryan Reilly were arrested while reporting from a McDonald's near where Ferguson residents were clashing with police. The same night, a Vice News reporter says she was asked if she wanted to get shot by an officer while taking photos and an Al Jazeera America camera crew was hit with a tear gas canister.

The New York Times reported on preliminary autopsy on the late Sunday night that suggested Brown was shot six times, twice in the head.

Andrea Peterson covers technology policy for The Washington Post, with an emphasis on cybersecurity, consumer privacy, transparency, surveillance and open government.
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