Alderman Antonio French released from police custody in Ferguson


by Stephanie Baumer / KMOV.coms taff

Posted on August 13, 2014 at 11:04 PM

Updated Thursday, Aug 14 at 4:36 PM

( –St. Louis Alderman Antonio French was released from police custody Thursday morning after being arrested the night before during a protest in Ferguson.

After being released from custody, French told reporters he was reporting the events near the QuikTrip gas station that was burned down earlier in the week when police started moving forward and throwing smoke bombs. French said a majority of the protesters scattered from the area and then police started throwing tear gas. French said he got into his vehicle, rolled up the windows and began recording the events taking place. 

"Then eventually an officer opened my door, pulled me out and arrested me. I asked him why I was being arrested and he said because ‘I didn’t listen,’” French said.

French said he did not have to pay a bail and as far as he knows no charges were filed against him.

"I'm not exactly sure what happened or why. I don't think I should have been arrested in the first place. Maybe they realized their mistake," said French.

Ferguson Police said French is mistaken. Officers said French has been charged with unlawful assembly and failure to disperse. 

“Rights are being violated, we have a right to peacefully protest, our constitution rights don’t expire at nine o’clock,” French said.

When asked what he was going to do after being released French told reporters, “I Still have people in there, I’m going to go get some bail money to get them out.”

Earlier on Wednesday, Ferguson police released a statement asking that protests only take place during daylight hours.

French has been using social media to document the events happening in Ferguson in the wake of the officer-involved killing of Michael Brown.

"We don't see a lot of constructive conversations going on between demonstrators and police. It's been a very heavy handed approach, and I think this heavy handed approach is making the situation worse," said French.

French was released from police custody Thursday morning around 7:10 a.m.