The American Civil Liberties Union and two other groups criticized St. Louis County for belatedly filing criminal cases against demonstrators arrested during the 2014 unrest in Ferguson. says the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “We condemn this action as a blatant violation of constitutional rights and an appalling misuse of our already overburdened court system,” the ACLU said. The ACLU estimates hundreds of charges could now be filed against those arrested during the protests after the Aug. 9, 2014, shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson.
St. Louis County Counselor Peter Krane acknowledged his office reviewed about 100 reports documenting arrests in Ferguson between August and December of last year. He expects the county will ultimately issue fewer than 100 warrants in connection with the Ferguson disruptions. Krane defended the one-year delay, noting the staff review of the Ferguson files did not begin until after County Executive Steve Stenger appointed him chief legal counsel in January.” Krane took exception to criticism by media groups over ordinance violations issued to reporters for the The Washington Post, Huffington Post and CTV News, a Canadian broadcast network. Said Krane, “I don't think there should be any weight given as to what it is the person does in his profession. … I understand it's important to protect the freedom of the press and to protect free movement of the press. But I think it's unfair to say (the journalists) were charged simply because they were reporters. No one was charged for doing his job.”