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Auburn grad among those arrested in Ferguson chaos

Protestors take to the streets in Ferguson, Missouri (Photo: YouTube screenshot)
Protestors take to the streets in Ferguson, Missouri (Photo: YouTube screenshot)

Ferguson, Mo., has descended into chaos after a police officer shot and killed an unarmed teenager Saturday night. As tempers continued to run hot on Wednesday, police hit the streets in riot gear, spraying rubber bullets and releasing tear gas.

Two national reporters, Wesley Lowery of the Washington Post and Ryan Reilly of the Huffington Post, were detained by police in a bizarre episode that unfolded in a local McDonald’s. The two reporters were working on their laptops in the restaurant when police came in and began telling people to leave.

Here’s how it unfolded on Twitter in real-time:

The two reporters, who had been non-stop tweeting the scene in Ferguson for hours, suddenly went dark, followed just minutes later by this tweet from Guardian reporter Jon Swaine…

…And then this tweet from L.A. Times national reporter Matt Pearce about a half hour later:

The two reporters were ultimately released.

But in addition to the two reporters, St. Louis alderman (like a city councilman) Antonio French was also arrested under circumstances that are still unclear. French is a graduate of Auburn University and is currently the Alderman of the 21s Ward in St. Louis.

French had been documenting the protests and police response on Twitter and Vine for the last several days. Shortly before his arrest, he sent a flurry of tweets, including this one:

As news of his arrest spread online, protestors marched on the jail demanding his release.

And the last tweet of Wednesday night came from French’s wife, who said she was still unsure what he was being charged with.

Follow Cliff on Twitter @Cliff_Sims

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