TV Reporter Arrested and Chained to Bench When Trying to Investigate Suspicious Police Practices (Video)
At a public meeting in a rural Missouri town: What should have been a standard local news story took a bizarre turn when the KTVI reporter sent to cover it was arrested. KTVI was following up on an investigation claiming Kinloch, Missouri police cars were both unregistered and uninsured.
The meeting with city leaders was held Thursday to discuss the issue, but when the reporters arrived, a sign on City Hall read: "No audio or video recording of any kind is allowed in this building without prior written approval."
So, reporter Chris Hayes went to ask permission.
“An officer told me, ‘Yes, it’s a public meeting,’ but the [Kinloch Police] captain later said 'no.' ... He allowed citizens to enter the public meeting but told me we could not bring a camera inside.”
Hayes was dumbfounded.
"I’ve never heard of a closed public meeting,” he told the captain. "The captain said, 'You won’t be coming in sir.’ He motioned to other citizens behind me, ‘You two wanna come in? Come on,’” Hayes said. “I said, ‘It’s a public meeting.’ The captain answered, ‘No recordings. No video.’”
After a few tries, the KTVI crew was barred from entering with a video camera, and police arrested reporter Hayes at the door.
“Police cuffed me and shackled my leg to a holding bench. They wrote a court summons for disorderly conduct and failure to comply—and then released me after posting bail with a September court date,” Hayes said.
Kinloch’s population is only 300, but it borders the state’s infamous suburb of Ferguson.