Journalists who recorded Ferguson protests will not face charges - KMOV.com

Journalists who recorded Ferguson protests will not face charges

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Police walk through a cloud of smoke as they clash with protesters in Ferguson, Mo. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson, File) Police walk through a cloud of smoke as they clash with protesters in Ferguson, Mo. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson, File)
FERGUSON, Mo. (KMOV.com) -

Two journalists who were arrested for recording police during protests in Ferguson, will not be charged for the alleged actions, according to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Missouri.

On the evening of August 19, 2014, journalist Bilgin Sasmaz reportedly recorded Ray Albers, a former St. Ann police officer, who was allegedly pointing his weapon at protesters and shouting that he would kill them. A press release from the ACLU stated a St. Louis County Police officer threw Sasmaz down on the pavement "violently," handcuffed and arrested him. A civil rights lawsuit was filed by the ACLU on the case in November.

On November 22, journalist Trey Yingst was reportedly arrested for standing on a sidewalk while officers attempted to clear the street. The incident occurred a day after the ACLU of Missouri secured a requirement for police to respect journalist's First Amendment rights, according to the ACLU.

“We hope these settlements indicate that St. Louis County realizes mistakes were made in the arrest of people, including journalists, who were committing no crimes in Ferguson,” said Jeffrey Mittman, executive director of the ACLU of Missouri, in a release. “The First Amendment protects our right to protest and allows the press to document unfolding events so we can draw our own conclusions about the appropriateness of police conduct.”

Lawsuits filed on behalf of Sasmaz and Yingst reached settlements, the ACLU announced on Monday. Copies of the Sasmaz and Yingst settlements can be viewed on the ACLU website.

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