The news is out: [A federal appeals court on Thursday ruled that a member of St. Louis County SWAT team could be held personally liable for firing tear gas at three Al Jazeera reporters who were preparing for a live broadcast covering the 2014 Ferguson unrest that followed the death of Michael Brown.
A three-judge panel on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit upheld a district court ruling finding that Deputy Michael Anderson was not entitled to qualified immunity from civil liability because his actions interfered with the journalists constitutionally protected right to report the news under the First Amendment.
According to the ruling, at least four different videos show the SWAT team approaching the reports, all of whom were a block and a half away from where the protests were occurring. After a rubber bullet is fired in their directions, the reporters identified themselves and the network, stating they were prepping to broadcast. Anderson then deployed “a single canister of CS gas (also known as ‘tear-gas’)” right at the reporters who were forced to scatter.
Anderson claimed projectiles were launched from the group of reporters who then refused to disperse, though no projectiles or requests to disperse were recorded on any of the videos of the incident.
Finding that Anderson appeared to specifically targeted journalists reporting on the protests, the court held that he was not entitled to qualified immunity.]
No cop deserves qualified immunity; the decision was an overreach by the Supreme Kangaroo Court. Police reform will not be legit until and unless qualified immunity, no-knock warrant, chokehold, police unions are outlawed and a national database for law enforcement prevents the rehire of cops who are caught. Please remember that a good cop is one who hasn’t been caught yet. Jackbooted neo-Nazi confederate skinhead terrorist supremacist Neanderthals… in other words, cops are an extension of the KKK and white supremacy.