It’s a dream come true.
WaPo race reporter Wesley Lowery has been charged with trespassing in a incident dating back a year ago in Ferguson, Mo. He’s also been charged with “interfering with a police officer’s duties” as he “failed to comply with “repeated commands to immediately exit” a McDonald’s.
No doubt this is good news for his career as was his being detained a year ago.
As some may recall, he was arrested while covering the Ferguson riots last year along with HuffPost‘s Ryan Reilly after the pair refused to leave the McDonald’s after police ordered them out.
According to a report in WaPo, Lowery must appear in in court or he faces getting arrested. The summons he received says he must appear in a St. Louis County municipal court on Aug. 24.
HuffPost‘s Michael Calderone first reported last month that St. Louis County still had time to charge Lowery and Reilly. Reilly hasn’t yet received his summons. Never fear, he’s crossing his fingers that it’ll arrive tomorrow. “Didn’t come in the mail today,” he wrote on Twitter. “I’m guessing tomorrow.”
Executive Editor Marty Baron finds the whole thing “outrageous.”
“Charging a reporter with trespassing and interfering with a police officer when he was just doing his job is outrageous,” Baron said in a statement Monday. “You’d have thought law enforcement authorities would have come to their senses about this incident. Wes Lowery should never have been arrested in the first place. That was an abuse of police authority. This latest action represents contemptible overreaching by prosecutors who seem to have no regard for the role of journalists seeking to cover a major story and following normal practice.”
Lowery faces a possible $1,000 fine and up to a year in jail.
“I maintained from the first day that our detention was illegal and unnecessary,” Lowery told WaPo’s Mark Berman from Ferguson, where he’s covering the one-year anniversary of Michael Brown‘s death.
(As previously promised, if he goes to the slammer, The Mirror will visit, write letters, and send care packages with freshly baked cookies.)