Protestors scuffle with police during a protest at the Ferguson Police Department in Ferguson, Missouri, October 13, 2014.(Reuters/Jim Young)
The 37-mile no-fly zone around Ferguson, implemented after the fatal shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown by a police officer in August, was designed to keep the press out, phone recordings obtained by AP via the Freedom of Information Act reveal.
The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) imposed a 12-day no-fly zone in compliance with requests from local police after protests erupted in response to the August 9th police shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teen. At the time, the official reason given for the restriction was safety precautions. However, in audio recordings, officials are heard admitting that the real reason for the flight restriction was to keep news helicopters from flying over the St. Louis suburb.
The St. Louis Police department maintained that the restricted fly zone was instituted in response to shots fired at a police helicopter, although they were not able to provide an incident report on the shooting, according to AP.
FAA air traffic controllers attempted to reword the flight ban, which had initially banned all air traffic in the 37-mile radius, to let commercial flights operate at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport, but prohibit other flights, on August 12th, the day after the restriction was first established.
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