— Ryan J. Reilly (@ryanjreilly) August 18, 2014
The photograph above, tweeted out by Huffington Post justice reporter Ryan J. Reilly, shows Getty photographer Scott Olson being taken into custody by Ferguson police while covering the ongoing protests and riots sparked by the death of 18-year-old Michael Brown, an unarmed African American man who was shot and killed by police on August 9th.
Olson claims police told him that he was being arrested because “the media is required to be in a certain area,” something he refused to do. And even though he was released later on that same day and no charges have been filed, the photojournalist was clearly unhappy about how the situation is being handled by police:
Scott Olson just released. He said “I want to be able to do my job as a member of the media and not be arrested for just doing my job”
— Pancho Bernasconi (@DailyLuca) August 19, 2014
Olson isn’t alone, either. It was just last week, after the controversial arrest of journalists from both the Huffington Post and the Washington Post that President Obama himself said, “Police should not be bullying or arresting journalists just trying to do their jobs.”
In response, the powers that be in Ferguson signed a court declaration that they would not arrest journalists covering the protests unless they posed a threat to public safety or were obstructing police. None of the eye-witness reports by other journalists indicate he was doing either of these things.
Olson has been critical of the police action since before his arrest. Just this Saturday, the former Marine told NPR’s All Things Considered that he was shocked police were out there with M16s and sniper rifles. You can listen to that full segment above.