St. Louis Politician Arrested Amidst Ferguson Protests | Huffington Post
A St. Louis official who has been a prominent presence at the protests in Ferguson, Missouri was arrested Wednesday night, according to his wife.
Antonio French is an alderman in St. Louis, who has been tweeting non-stop aboutwhat has been going on in Ferguson since a police officer shot Michael Brown, an unarmed African American teenager, on Aug. 9. In the following days, there have been protests around the city from members of the city’s African American community who believe that the shooting was unjustified.
French has been critical of the police response to the protests — which has included tear gas and wooden bullets fired at residents — telling MSNBC host Chris Hayes recently, “There is no trust between the Ferguson police department and the community at this point.”
Late Wednesday night, French’s wife tweeted that her husband had been arrested by the Ferguson Police Department.
She then continued to tweet that he was being detained.
The Huffington Post called the Ferguson County Police Department and spoke with an official named “Julie.” She would not give her last name and said she could neither confirm nor deny that French was arrested.
When asked where confirmation could be obtained, Julie replied, “You’ll get it on the web, I guess. We’re very busy.”
About an hour later, she tweeted again that he was now being booked.
KMOX in St. Louis noted that there was a crowd at the police station awaiting his release as well.
News of French’s arrest came shortly after two reporters, Ryan Reilly of The Huffington Post and Wesley Lowery were assaulted and arrested after they did not leave a McDonald’s quickly enough when SWAT officers came and evacuated it.
"They essentially acted as a military force. It was incredible,” Reilly said in an MSNBC interview after his release. “The worst part was he slammed my head against the glass purposefully on the way out of McDonald’s and then sarcastically apologized for it.”
French’s activity at the protests has contrasted greatly with the involvement, or lack thereof, by Missouri’s state and federal leaders. Gov. Jay Nixon (D) didn’t comment at all on the protests until late Wednesday night — after getting a significant amount of heat on Twitter — saying he would be canceling his appearance at the state fair Thursday.
The police have refused to release the name of the officer who shot Brown, saying they fear for his safety.