County police chief admits officers broke Ferguson 5-second protest rule

News
This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

ST. LOUIS (KTVI) – It is now up to a federal judge to decide whether the so-called ‘five-second rule,’ which police have been using as justification to force protesters in Ferguson to keep moving or face arrest, is legal.

U.S. District Judge Catherine Perry heard testimony Monday in St. Louis in a case brought by the ACLU, claiming police have no legal right to arrest protesters for “refusal to disperse” just for standing still.

“We have very serious concerns about the lack of due process that is happening in Ferguson,” said ACLU of Missouri Legal Director Tony Rothert.

“It does seem to be an intimidation tactic in many ways and that just makes people feel picked on and agitated and leads to the kinds of feelings that cause the unrest that we have seen,” he said.

On the stand, St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar said the rule was meant to be enforced only at night but that some officers used their discretion to apply it during the day as well.

The ACLU maintains Missouri`s Refusal to Disperse law covers only “illegal” protests or “rioting,” and was not meant to empower police to arrest peaceful protesters.

The ACLU also says applying the five-second rule arbitrarily is a violation of due process rights.

Judge Perry is expected to rule on the request for an injunction in about a week.

Follow Paul Schankman On Facebook and Twitter:
Paul Schankman on Facebook
Paul Schankman on Twitter
Email: paul.schankman@tvstl.com

About FOX 2 News

FOX 2 and KPLR 11 in St. Louis cover the news in Missouri and Illinois. There are over 68 hours of live news and local programming on-air each week. Our website and live video streams operate 24/7. Download our apps for alerts and follow us on social media for updates in your feed.

President Harry Truman said: “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” That spirit is alive and well at Fox 2. Our teamwork is on display each and every day.

Our news slogan is: “Coverage You Can Count On.” We quite frankly are too busy to worry about who gets the credit. Our main concern is serving the viewer.

We go where the stories take us. Whether it be Washington, D.C when a Belleville man opened fire during a congressional baseball game practice or to Puerto Rico where local Ameren crews restored power after more than 5 months in the dark.

Coverage You Can Count On means “Waking up your Day” with our top-rated morning show. From 4:00 am-10:00 am we are leading the way with breaking news. But our early morning crew also knows how to have some fun! Our strong commitment to the communities we serve is highlighted with our Friday neighborhood shows.

Our investigative unit consists of three reporters. Elliott Davis focuses on government waste, Chris Hayes is our investigative reporter, and Mike Colombo is our consumer reporter. They work in unison with the news department by sharing resources and ideas.

We continue to cover breaking news aggressively and relied on our seasoned journalists to make a difference with the stories we covered. The shooting of Arnold Police Officer Ryan O’Connor is just one example of that. Jasmine Huda was the only reporter who had exclusive access to the O’Connor family during his amazing rehabilitation in Colorado.

Last, but certainly not least, FOX 2 and KPLR 11 are committed to covering local politics. We host debates among candidates and have the most extensive presidential election coverage. Our commitment to politics isn’t just during an election year. We produce two political shows that air every weekend.

Popular

Latest News

More News