The Federal Aviation Administration has declared a partial no-fly zone over the Missouri suburb in which an unarmed black teenager was killed this weekend, according to multiple reports.
Flights are banned over the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri, where Michael Brown was fatally shot by police on Saturday afternoon. The ban apparently stems from a police helicopter being fired upon.
However, some have noted that since the ban seemingly does not apply to commercial flights, its impact falls primarily on news media covering local protests.
NBC News investigative reporter Tom Winter reported that the FAA has restricted the airspace above Ferguson to "provide a safe environment for law enforcement activities."
According to FAA, temporary flight restriction for aircraft flying under 3,000 feet in Fergusen, MO. Essentially eliminating TV newscopters.— Tom Winter (@Tom_Winter) August 12, 2014
FAA says flight restriction over Ferguson which hinder news coverage is "TO PROVIDE A SAFE ENVIRONMENT FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT ACTIVITIES."— Tom Winter (@Tom_Winter) August 12, 2014
Winter noted the ban is hindering media coverage of the town, which has been plagued with unrest since the police shooting of Brown.
Mashable Editor Brian Ries probed the ban a bit more, learning from authorities that commercial aircraft were exempt from the ban.
Spokesperson for Louise County Police Department: The FAA ban over #Ferguson is "not for commercial aircraft, they're exempt from it."— Brian Rie$ (@moneyries)August 12, 2014
I asked, then, what the FAA ban is meant for. He hung up.— Brian Rie$ (@moneyries) August 12, 2014
It seems that media may be the primary target of the ban.
Does that include media? I asked. "That includes media. The only people who can go in there are first responders." #Ferguson— Brian Rie$ (@moneyries) August 12, 2014
According to Ries, authorities say the ban was prompted after a police helicopter was shot at Sunday night.
Update: Louis County PD spokesperson tells me FAA ban over #Ferguson instituted after police helicopter came under fire Sunday night.— Brian Rie$ (@moneyries) August 12, 2014
Spox: "That decision was made immediately when our police helicopter came under fire Sunday night, due to hostile scene..."— Brian Rie$ (@moneyries) August 12, 2014
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