Tensions mount as Ferguson awaits grand jury decision



Police warn protesters to stay out of the street or face arrest during a demonstration outside the Ferguson Police Department on Nov. 23, 2014, in Ferguson, Missouri.
Tensions ran high over the weekend, as residents in Ferguson, Missouri, await word on whether a grand jury will indict police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown.
Anticipating large-scale demonstrations, authorities set up barricades around the Buzz Westfall Justice Center in Clayton, Missouri, where the grand jury has been meeting. Meanwhile, protesters gathered outside the Ferguson police station.
On Saturday night, police in Ferguson cautioned protesters not to enter the street and disrupt traffic, but some disregarded the warning, and blocked several cars. Officers ended up arresting two people, according to St. Louis County Police spokesperson Brian Schellman.
Police arrested Trey Yingst, a Washington, D.C.-based journalist, according to reports. Yingst became the 23rd journalist to be arrested in Ferguson since August when protests first erupted following Brown's death, according to a tally by the Freedom of the Press Foundation.
Yingst was released a few hours later.
Meanwhile, CNN reported on Sunday that several television anchors, including NBC's Matt Lauer, ABC's George Stephanopoulos, CBS' Scott Pelley and CNN's Anderson Cooper have secretly met with Wilson to try to convince him to grant them an interview. Wilson hasn't been seen in public since Aug. 9, when he shot and killed Brown.
Cooper and Don Lemon, also from CNN, confirmed the report on Twitter.

As CNN reporter Brian Stelter noted, these meetings are a customary part of booking a guest on television — a fact that both Cooper and Lemon also underscored.


But as Erik Wemple explained in a Washington Post piece, while courting Wilson is okay, the fact that the meetings were kept secret is probably not, and the anchors should have disclosed that.
"What the television networks have done here is to bind themselves to a more restrictive, more censorious version of 'off the record,'" wrote Wemple. "A more gross one, too. That Wilson would be absenting himself from official court testimony while shopping his story around to TV network types is enormous news in and of itself — perhaps as big as what he might eventually say in the sit-down interview."




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