Two journalists covering civil unrest following a fatal shooting in Ferguson, Missouri, said they were briefly arrested Wednesday night inside a McDonald's in the community.
Wesley Lowery of The Washington Post and Ryan J. Reilly of The Huffington Post said on Twitter that they were arrested while they were doing work and then released within roughly 45 minutes. Neither was charged.
"This was very unnecessary," Lowery said in a telephone interview. He said he was never told why he and Reilly were detained, except that they were "trespassing" by being inside the fast-food restaurant.
Lowery recorded a portion of his interaction with an officer inside the McDonald's. In the video, which was published on The Washington Post's Web site, an officer is heard demanding that he "stop videotaping."
Citizens and professional journalists generally have the right to record police activities.
Afterward, Reilly wrote in a Facebook post that a police officer "in full riot gear" "purposefully banged my head against the window on the way out and sarcastically apologized."
Reilly added, "I'm fine. But if this is the way these officers treat a white reporter working on a laptop who moved a little too slowly for their liking, I can't imagine how horribly they treat others. And if anyone thinks that the militarization of our police force isn't a huge issue in this country, I've got a story to tell you."
Lowery emphasized that he did not want his arrest to overshadow the ongoing protests in Ferguson or the treatment of the protesters. "I want this to be about the community," he said. "But this arrest is in some ways an anecdote of what's going on here."
The arrests came amid an already-tense situation between journalists and the authorities in Ferguson, the site of last Saturday's police shooting of an unarmed 18-year-old, Michael Brown.
There have been several reports of reporters and the camera crews being told to leave protest areas, but no reported arrests until Wednesday.
The Ferguson police chief, Thomas Jackson, told CNN he did not know who the arresting officers were. "We had a lot of different agencies out there," Jackson said.
At 11 p.m. CDT, Jackson said 18 people had been taken into custody on Wednesday, including the two reporters.
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A two-year-long legal battle between the country's biggest broadcasters and a startup called Aereo is about to culminate at the U.S. Supreme Court.
The court's decision, expected sometime this summer, could have far-reaching implications for television and technology companies - and ultimately on how people watch TV programs.
That's because Aereo brings up crucial questions about copyright law and threatens to disrupt lucrative business models.
The court will hear arguments in the case on Tuesday morning. Legal experts are divided about the most likely outcome. But Aereo is undeniably the underdog, opposed by the owners of virtually all the major media companies in the United States.
"We believe that Aereo's business model, and similar offerings that operate on the same principle, are built on stealing the creative content of others," CBS said in a statement, echoing the views of others challenging Aereo.
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Comcast said Thursday it had agreed to buy Time Warner Cable for $45 billion in a deal that would combine the two biggest cable companies in the United States.
If the deal is approved, the combined group will be the country's dominant provider of television channels and Internet connections, reaching roughly one in three American homes.
Time Warner Cable owners will be offered 2.875 Comcast shares for each share they own, valuing Time Warner Cable at about $158.82 per share.
The two companies expect the merger to take effect by the end of the year, but regulators are likely to take a close look at the potential impact on consumers.
To address those concerns, Comcast said it was prepared to divest about 3 million subscribers. But it would still have about 30 million customers. Comcast Cable CEO Neil Smit will lead the merged company.
The proposed deal ends months of jockeying for control of Time Warner Cable, the second biggest U.S. supplier of cable television, with about 11 million subscribers in cities such as New York and Los Angeles.