Despite speculation on social media, St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter Christine Byers has not been suspended or placed on leave for reporting on Twitter Monday night that more than a dozen witnesses have corroborated the police’s account of the fatal shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown.
The Post-Dispatch provided the following statement from Editor Gilbert Bailon to TheBlaze on Tuesday:
Christine Byers is a police reporter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch who has been on FMLA leave since March. She is not involved in the Ferguson coverage while she is on leave. Her tweets are personal.
She has tweeted today in regards to her tweet Monday: “On FMLA from paper. Earlier tweets did not meet standards for publication.”
Byers made a splash when she reported on Monday night: “Police sources tell me more than a dozen witnesses have corroborated cop’s version of events in shooting.” The tweet sparked several news reports and more than 2,600 retweets.
On Tuesday, Byers then tweeted: “On FMLA from paper. Earlier tweets did not meet standards for publication.” Her message was meant to convey that she is on leave and not actively covering the Ferguson situation for the newspaper.
FMLA is the abbreviation for the Family and Medical Leave Act, which permits qualified employees to “take unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons with continuation of group health insurance coverage under the same terms and conditions as if the employee had not taken leave.”
On FMLA from paper. Earlier tweets did not meet standards for publication.
— Christine Byers (@ChristineDByers) August 19, 2014
Multiple attempts to contact Byers were unsuccessful.