Protecting Freedom of the Press in Ferguson from the FAA

New information obtained by the Associated Press through a Freedom of Information Act request indicates that a flight ban in Ferguson, Mo., may have been intended to stop press coverage rather than just protect local law enforcement.

After reports that rounds were fired at police aircraft over Ferguson in early August, just days after Michael Brown’s death, the St. Louis County Police Department requested a no-fly zone from the Federal Aviation Administration supposedly as a safety precaution. The FAA approved an initial ban of no flights below 5,000 feet except for police and commercial aircraft.

But recently, the AP released recordings of conversations between the FAA and the police obtained through a FOIA request to the FAA. The recordings indicate the temporary flight ban actually may have been intended to keep the media out: “They finally admitted it really was to keep the media out” said one FAA manager about the police. Continue>>>