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St. Louis police issue order acknowledging journalist rights

Demonstrators protesting the acquittal of former St. Louis police officer Jason Stockley march on September 17, 2017 in St. Louis, Missouri.This is the third 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 – St. Louis police officers will be required each month to read and acknowledge an order reiterating the rights of journalists.

The move comes after the St. Louis Post-Dispatch met with city and police officials to discuss officer-journalist relationships. One of the newspaper’s reporters was arrested in September while covering civil unrest downtown.

Police commanders can use their discretion to grant journalists select privileges at a scene so long as the officers’ duties and the safety of other members of the public won’t be compromised.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports Friday the police order states that journalists must be provided at least the same access others are given.

The police department also will send all officers an advisory asking them to allow journalists to do their jobs and increase officer training in dealing with journalists.

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Information from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, http://www.stltoday.com