Sports Illustrated Writer Robert Klemko On Being Wrongly Arrested In Ferguson
Robert Klemko is a writer for Sports Illustrated’s Monday Morning Quarterback.
Robert joined Ed and Steve to talk about what is happening in Ferguson, MO and give his account of being wrongfully detained by police.
“The formal term is “detained”, but we were told we were under arrest & then a few minutes after pleading with the police, they let us go on our way.”
What’s a writer from Sports Illustrated doing in Ferguson?
“Last week we went to the Bears preseason game & we talked to David Bass (Bears DE) who is actually from this area, grew up 6 miles from where Michael Brown was killed & we wanted to get his picture of what life was like growing up there as a young, African-American teenager. What he said was pretty eye-opening for us & a lot of people & we figured let’s go down there & talk to the High School football teams who are at the center of this storm.” “….We consider ourselves a football site & not just a pro football site.”
“…and once I got down here your journalism instinct kicks in & you go down to the protest.”
Robert talked about how community leaders in Ferguson are physically stopping agitators from throwing flaming bottles at police and other authorities & the difference between the peaceful community protestors & the agitators that are coming out at night.
” I saw a couple of community leaders last night literally take down a guy who was about to throw a bottle that was flaming & there are reports of that all over the place. So, you have this really strong group of individuals who just want to stand out on the street peacefully and speak their voice.”
Robert also talked about the agitators….
“…then you have maybe 2, 3, 400 people a night, many of whom are from out-of-town. Many of whom are under the influence who are making all the scene & headlines & front pages. I think if you are not here it’s easy to get a skewed picture of what’s happening here.”
“it’s important to note that these agitators are bringing pistols and when night falls…they are firing them at Officers & in some cases firing them at each other. There are gang beefs happening…”
“You have this little vibrant community of protesters & then it really goes south when the sun goes down.”
He also gave some great insight on the chaos happening nightly in Ferguson, MO.
It’s very difficult for them (the Police) in this environment after they launch the smoke to decipher who’s actually shooting the bullets. They are full riot gear, they’re behind the armored cars for the most part & at this point now that the National Guard is involved they are really not letting the crowd get very big before they break them up.”
“…Anytime you have bullets coming at you, I think a lot of actions are justified. The problem last night was that the media was quarantined to a place where we could not see the conclusion of the protest. …one big complaint among a lot of people covering this is that the police are being extremely heavy-handed with us.”