Two journalists from a Russian news agency were attacked by a group of teenagers during protests in Ferguson over the grand jury decision over Michael Brown’s death, RT, a Russian news network, reported early Thursday. The report also claimed that police had turned down the journalists’ requests for help fearing the assailants “might be armed.”
The two reporters -- a Russian working for RIA Novosti and a British freelancer working for the Sputnik agency -- were attacked after they left their vehicle to ask protesters about their reactions to Monday’s grand jury decision not to indict Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Brown on Aug. 9. In response to the questions, the teenagers reportedly assaulted the two, one of whom received head injuries. The correspondents reportedly managed to escape and contact police nearby.
“We had to visit several police posts because in Ferguson there is [Missouri] state police, local police, the National Guard, and others. The police station was closed. Eventually, some mobile police units coordinated themselves and took my testimony,” Aleksey Bogdanovsky, the RIA Novosti correspondent said, according to RT. “I didn’t get the official copy of my statement, as the police are now working in extreme mode. So I have a paper with my statement number written by the officer.”
The two men also reportedly said that their vehicle was torched and went to the police department to report the incident. Both news agencies are part of the Rossiya Segodnya agency.
The grand jury decision has triggered unrest and violence in the St. Louis suburb and across the U.S., resulting in the arrests of nearly 500 people. Demonstrations were carried out in Boston, New York, Los Angeles, Dallas, Atlanta and other cities since Monday night. The Los Angeles Police Department also reportedly stated early Thursday that 130 protesters had been detained.
Protests have also been seen in Canada and the UK. On Wednesday night, hundreds of people gathered outside the U.S. embassy in London protesting against the grand jury’s decision.
Handling of the protests by U.S. law enforcement agencies have attracted criticisms from Russia and North Korea, both of which are typically at the receiving end of rebukes from the U.S. and the West for their human rights records.