Nearly a year after Washington Post reporter Wesley Lowery was arrested in Ferguson, Missouri during the Michael Brown protests, formal charges were filed against him, the paper reported Monday.
Lowery was charged with trespassing on private property and interfering with a police officer’s performance of his duties — according to the Washington Post — in a court summons dated August 6. The summons ordered him to appear in a St. Louis County municipal court on August 24 or face arrest.
Lowery was arrested in a McDonald’s restaurant near the protests in Ferguson along with Huffington Post reporter (and TPM alum) Ryan Reilly last August. According to their accounts, the two reporters were working in the fast food restaurant when police demanded everyone vacate the premises and they were treated roughly once law enforcement realized they were attempting to record the encounter. Their arrests made national news.
Reilly told the Washington Post Monday he had not received a summons yet but was expecting to be charged as well.
Lowery joked on Twitter that the charges meant Reilly won a bet the two had going:
for what it’s worth: @ryanjreilly and I had a bet about whether or not we’d get charged (statute of limitations was a year). Ryan won
— Wesley Lowery (@WesleyLowery) August 10, 2015
Washington Post Executive Editor Marty Baron blasted the charges against his reporter.
“Charging a reporter with trespassing and interfering with a police officer when he was just doing his job is outrageous,” Baron said in a statement, according to the Post.
“This latest action represents contemptible overreaching by prosecutors who seem to have no regard for the role of journalists seeking to cover a major story and following normal practice,” Baron said.