FERGUSON • A Canadian television journalist was among several other journalists arrested Tuesday night in Ferguson, according to the Canadian network CTV news.
Tom Walters, CTV's Los Angeles Bureau Chief, was arrested under the order of Capt. Ronald S. Johnson of the Missouri Highway Patrol. It was captured on video by a CTV news cameraman. Walters reported that Tuesday night, before the last demonstrator had left, police insisted media leave first. Walters approached Johnson and asked why. “Captain Johnson, what's the reason for ordering the media out?” he asked as Johnson walked on the street with other officers. “Arrest him, arrest him,” Johnson can be seen saying. “I just asked a question!” Walters said over and over as other officers detained him.
“Now when a town fears brutality by law enforcement, and police suddenly want to do their work unseen by media observers, it's not just a fair question but a necessary one,” Walters said later in his own television report about the arrest.
He was released the next morning without being charged, according to the account.
Ken White, 50, who traveled to Ferguson from British Columbia this week to experience the events in Ferguson first-hand, recognized Walters from television and had been watching him work Tuesday evening. He also witnessed the arrest.
“I was very shocked with the behavior” of Johnson, White said. “He could have said to Tom Walters 'we're a little bit busy now, you can come to our press conference.' It's just unbelievable , your state patrol. Our police would not act like that.”
Walters or a representative from CTV could not be immediately reached Thursday night.
Reporter arrests have been a small sidebar to the events in Ferguson in the past several days. Wesley Lowery, a reporter with the Washington Post, was arrested Aug. 13 evening along with Ryan Reilly of the Huffington Post. The two were in a McDonald's on West Florissant Avenue and working when police came in to “kick everyone out,” according to a Twitter post from Lowery, and that “officers decided we weren't leaving McDonald's quickly enough, shouldn't have been taping them.”