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Police 'arrests' reporters in US suburb where teen was killed

Missouri police arrested two journalists on Wednesday (Aug 13).

The pair said they were reporting on the unrest that has roiled a US suburb after an unarmed black teenager was shot dead by police.

Aspiring college student Michael Brown, 18, died on Saturday in a police shooting in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, sparking rioting. The chaos drew comparisons to the February 2012 fatal shooting of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin.

Wesley Lowery, a Washington Post political reporter, and Ryan Reilly, a Huffington Post reporter, were arrested in a McDonald’s restaurant after police entered the eatery and ordered people to leave, both wrote on Twitter.

In a series of tweets, Lowery said they were given no explanation for their arrest other than “trespassing”. They were not charged with any offences before their release.

 

Lowery claimed police officers “assaulted” him because the two reporters were not leaving quickly enough.

Earlier on Wednesday, police fired several shots at a 19-year-old who pointed a handgun in their direction as they dispersed around 30 people who had gathered near where the rioting had occurred, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

The young man was taken to hospital. His name was not released.

Calls to keep calm seem to have failed, with fresh reports of violence emerging on Thursday morning.

On Tuesday, US President Barack Obama appealed for calm after what he called a “heartbreaking” incident, noting that the FBI had opened a civil rights investigation into Brown’s death.

Witnesses and police have given conflicting versions of how the teenager was shot in broad daylight, two days before he was due to start college.

Sources: AFP, Twitter

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