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Police Shackle Local Reporter to Holding Bench for Trying to Record Public Meeting: ‘I Will Not Tell You That Again’

"You really wanna play this up?"

Image source: KTVI-TV

A local TV reporter was arrested and shackled to a holding bench while he was trying to do his job at a public hearing.

KTVI-TV reporter Chris Hayes was following up on an investigation into the Kinloch, Missouri, Police Department about uninsured and unregistered police vehicles. The small municipality, which is next door to Ferguson, held a public meeting Thursday to address the fallout from the investigation.

Image source: KTVI-TV

Because Hayes noticed a sign on the door of City Hall, which stated that "no audio or video recording of any kind is allowed in this building without prior written approval," he said he went to city officials before the meeting. Hayes said an officer told him that, because it was a public meeting, he was allowed to record. But that's not what he was told when he later tried to enter the building with a camera.

“You won’t be coming in, sir," a police captain reportedly told Hayes. “Either you come into the meeting without your camera or you don’t come in.” Moments later, the captain told two members of the public, “You two wanna come in? Come on.”

Hayes asked the captain to cite which statute forbid him from recording a public meeting. The law enforcement officer didn't answer. He said only, “I’m not going to tell you again.” But Hayes insisted: "We're allowed in there." The captain, however, didn't think so.

“Give me your handcuffs. You really wanna play this up?” he told the reporter.

“I’m telling you you’re not coming in here with a camera. Now do you really want to play it up?” the captain continued.

Moments later, the reporter was handcuffed and later shackled to a holding bench as police wrote court summonses for “disorderly conduct” and “failure to comply," according to KTVI.

Hayes was released on bail. His court date is in September.

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