• Germany edition
 
German journalists arrested in Ferguson
Police in Ferguson, Missouri, US. Photo: DPA

German journalists arrested in Ferguson

Published: 19 Aug 2014 11:39 GMT+02:00

Ansgar Graw and Frank Hermann were cuffed and jailed for three hours the day after arriving in the beleaguered suburb of St. Louis. Graw and Hermann were there to cover the town of Ferguson, whose African-American population has clashed fiercely with local police since the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown by a white police officer on August 9.

The journalists had wanted to take pictures of a burned out gas station on Florissant Avenue, the street at the centre of the week-long protest. The building was looted and burned the night of Brown's death.

"The street was empty at the time, there was no hint of violence or riotous assembly," Graw wrote for Die Welt of his ordeal.

Police told him that journalists were gathering on the other end of the street, in the large shopping mall, for security reasons.

"We felt there were no threats, everything is completely peaceful, and we said that we would stay on and take the photos we wanted," Graw wrote.

Then a young police officer says: "Okay, but only if you keep moving. The moment you stay standing, you'll be arrested. That's the last warning."

Graw took the pictures walking around in small circles in an attempt to assuage the officer, but was then cuffed in zip ties anyway. The officer gave his name as Donald Duck.

The journalists were processed, relieved of their personal belongings and transported to a jail in St. Louis. Requests for water were ignored. Requests for a phone call were always answered with "later".

After three hours, the journalists were released without explanation.

This was Graw's first arrest.

"This was a very new experience. I've been in several conflict zones: I was in the civil war regions in Georgia, the Gaza strip, illegally visited the Kaliningrad region when travel to the Soviet Union was still strictly prohibited for westerners, I've been in Iraq, Vietnam and in China, I've met Cuba dissidents. But to be arrested and yelled at and be rudely treated by police? For that I had to travel to Ferguson and St. Louis in the United States of America."

Tabloid paper also wrote on Tuesday that one of their reporters had also been arrested by police in Ferguson. Lukas Hermsmeier spent the night in St. Louis County Jair in Clayton, Missouri. 

For more stories about Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Bayern report record half billion euro turnover
Photo: DPA

Bayern report record half billion euro turnover

German champions Bayern Munich on Friday reported a record turnover of €528.7 million ($657.9m) for the 2013/14 season, a campaign in which they clinched a league and cup double. READ  

BlackBerry to buy Merkel mobile encyption
Photo: DPA

BlackBerry to buy Merkel mobile encyption

Germany said Friday it had approved Canadian smartphone maker BlackBerry's purchase of data encryption firm Secusmart, whose customers include Chancellor Angela Merkel, after agreeing what media dubbed a "no-spy clause". READ  

Bundestag passes debt-free budget for 2015
Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble fulfills a promise. Photo: DPA

Bundestag passes debt-free budget for 2015

Germany signed off Friday on its 2015 draft budget, which foresees a balanced bottom line for the country's public finances for the first time since 1969. READ  

So much more than chocolate
Decisions, decisions. Photo: DPA

So much more than chocolate

What's not to like about opening a little paper door every day to get a piece of chocolate only for it all to lead to a day when we all eat a lot of everything? READ  

Fare dodging could cost more in 2015
Riding the Stuttgart tram with a properly validated ticket. Photo: DPA

Fare dodging could cost more in 2015

States are pushing the government to increase fines for people using public transport without a ticket from next year. READ  

Expat Dispatches
Discovering German identity from abroad
Photo courtesy Julia Reichel

Discovering German identity from abroad

German student living in Canada Julia Reichel turns our Expat Dispatches around this week as she learns that being German outside Germany isn't so bad. READ  

BND spied on Germans living abroad
The hearing room of the NSA inquiry committee at the Bundestag. Photo: DPA

BND spied on Germans living abroad

The Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), Germany's foreign intelligence service, spied on some citizens living abroad, a former lawyer for the spies told MPs on Thursday. READ  

Negotiations restart between GDL and Bahn
Just what is this man thinking today? Rail services depend on it. Photo: DPA

Negotiations restart between GDL and Bahn

Deutsche Bahn (DB) and the train drivers union (GDL) are bellying up to the bargaining table again on Friday, though the head of the GDL won't rule out more strikes. READ  

Beckenbauer targeted in Fifa ethics inquiry
Is the Kaiser tarnished? Photo: DPA

Beckenbauer targeted in Fifa ethics inquiry

German football hero Franz Beckenbauer has been named as one of five Fifa executive committee members being investigated for possible corruption by the football association's ethics board, it was reported on Thursday. READ  

Economists urge reform for Germany, France
Photo: DPA

Economists urge reform for Germany, France

A top level economic report on Thursday urged European heavyweights France and Germany to implement urgent economic reforms, warning that Europe risked falling into a "stagnation trap". READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Sponsored Article
Top five tacky Christmas jumpers
Photo: DPA
Culture
Get ready for Christmas like a German. We tell you how.
Photo: DPA
Munich
She did what with her dead mother?
Photo: DPA
National
Germany still paying for crisis fall out
Photo: DPA
Culture
Saxon wurst is the worst, Christmas market declares.
Photo: DPA
Politics
Can 'sorry' ever be enough for the Linke?
Sponsored Article
Shop Christmas gifts at Debenhams international store
Sponsored Article
Ever wanted to try out home exchange?
Photo: DPA
Berlin
The Local's series on 25 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall
Shutterstock
Sponsored Article
Offer: Unlimited airmiles through December 19th
Photo: DPA
Gallery
See how Berlin has changed in 22 photos
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Want to study in Germany? These are the subjects to choose
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,208
jobs available
The Local Spain is hiring!
The Local is seeking a new editor for our site in Spain to join our growing team of internationally-minded, driven, ambitious and clued-up journalists.
Details and how to apply
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd