Community distrust of the police has been one of the major factors in the unrest in Ferguson — a distrust that has stemmed from a long history of abuse of power by local police. When governor Jay Nixon sent the highway patrol to Ferguson over the weekend to take control of the situation, the tensions were somewhat eased before erupting into violence once more, much of which seems to be coming from outside the community.
On Monday, the authoritative behavior of local law enforcement which has alienated the community was once again put on display before the cameras of national media, as CNN anchor Don Lemon reported live from the streets of Ferguson.
At the moment the studio went live to Ferguson, St. Louis County Police moved in pushing the protesters and Lemon back, “I think we’re about to be arrested because we’re standing on the sidewalk,” were Lemon’s first words in the report.
When Lemon attempted to get an answer from one of the officers as to why they were being asked to move from a location where they had been standing all day, the officer responded shouting, “Move out of the way, sir, move!”
As Lemon attempted to continue his report, the officer began to push him and those behind him back with outstretched arms, repeating his demand that they move over and over again but giving no explanation as to why he wanted them to move from a location where they had been gathered for hours.
Freeing himself and stepping back to his cameraman Lemon said:
“Now you see why people are so upset here, because we have been here all day. They moved us here and told us this is our location and now they’re doing the same thing to the people, so we’re on national television, so imagine what they’re doing to people where you don’t see on national television, the people who don’t have a voice like we do.”
After several inquiries and receiving no real answer, Lemon was finally able to find an officer who explained to him that they wanted people to move to an empty parking lot to conduct their protest for the sake of “safety.” However, Lemon pointed out no one had been in the street, they were all on the sidewalk until the police ordered them to move to the parking lot — which required them to go into the street.
Watch Lemon’s report in the video below from CNN.