Media groups condemn St. Louis protest arrests of reporters

ST LOUIS, MO - SEPTEMBER 18: Demonstrators protest outside of the St. Louis city jail following the arrest of 123 people yesterday protesting the acquittal of former St. Louis police officer Jason Stockley on September 18, 2017 in St. Louis, Missouri. This is the fourth day of protests in the city following the acquittal of Stockley, who had been charged with first-degree murder last year following the 2011 on-duty shooting of Anthony Lamar Smith. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

ST. LOUIS – Several journalism organizations have signed off on a letter to St. Louis’ mayor expressing concern about the arrests of reporters covering protests sparked by the September acquittal of a white former police officer in the 2011 killing of a black suspect.

The Committee to Protect Journalists sent the letter Tuesday to Mayor Lyda Krewson pointing out that at least 10 journalists have been arrested while covering the protests and that six reported that police used excessive force, including pepper-spray to the face.

The letter was signed by the leaders of 17 other media advocacy groups, including the American Society of News Editors, Associated Press Media Editors and the Society of Professional Journalists.

City Counselor Julian Bush says he hasn’t yet decided whether to charge any of the nearly 300 people arrested at protests, including journalists.