University of Cincinnati student photojournalist returns home after arrest in Ferguson

Coulter Loeb released hours later

CINCINNATI -- A University of Cincinnati student is thankful to be back home in the Tri-State after being arrested while covering the unrest in Ferguson.

The Cincinnati Herald said one of its freelancers, Coulter Loeb, was arrested at Wednesday at 12:30 a.m. CST and released at 6 a.m. He arrived back in Cincinnati by Greyhound just before 4 a.m. Friday.

Loeb is a senior at UC and works as a photojournalist.

He said that he was standing at a police line when an officer started shoving him and he was loaded into a police van. Loeb said he was held for six hours but released without being charged.

Loeb says he knew going to Ferguson was a gamble but when he saw that the curfew was not working he knew he wanted to see what was happening.

"We were watching how the situation developed and the curfew was the deciding factor. I was too young to experience the Cincinnati riots when they passed through, but I knew that something different was going on there and I wanted to figure out what it was,” Loeb said.

He believes passionate protestors, combined with a large media presence escalated the situation's intensity.

"I would say it intimidated the officers having 200 camera lenses pointed at them and their friends when they're in a situation that they weren't anticipating," Loeb said.

He knew being part of the crowd in Ferguson comes with a gamble.

"It's a risk that I knowingly take," Loeb said. "I didn't plan on getting arrested, but I know that walking next to police while they're handling the crowd... and I'm part of that crowd... I might be arrested."

He was also arrested in Sept. 2011 while photographing a police officer in Philadelphia. Loeb was charged with disorderly conduct but those charges were later dropped.

The student is one of many journalists who have been arrested or detained by police while covering the riots in Ferguson. The Poynter organization is keeping track of the arrests here.

UC President Santa J. Ono released a statement about the arrest saying:

According to the Associated Press, reporters for CNN, Al Jazeera America and other outlets say they have been harassed or physically threatened. Police officials have said that the media has been repeatedly ordered to return to the sidewalks near the protests “because of safety concerns.”

The AP quoted President Barack Obama as saying last week that police "should not be bullying or arresting" reporters for merely doing their jobs.

Last Friday, 48 American media organizations, including The Associated Press, sent a letter to law enforcement officials in Ferguson, criticizing the treatment of reporters.

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