Ferguson Goes Under No-Fly Zone, Hampering Aerial News Coverage Of Protests

CREDIT: AP Photo/Jeff Roberson

Police attempt to secure a street after a clash with protesters Wednesday.

The Federal Aviation Administration issued a no-fly zone over Ferguson, Missouri on Monday night, after a Grand Jury decided not to indict Officer Darren Wilson in the fatal shooting of 18-year-old Mike Brown.

The reason listed for a no-fly zone is “TO PROVIDE A SAFE ENVIRONMENT FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT ACTIVITIES.” It extends up to 3,000 feet, effectively banning news helicopters in the area, as well as commercial flights.

That language is identical to a no-fly zone issued this summer for the area. At that time, a dispatcher told ThinkProgress that police had “multiple helicopters maneuvering in the area and we were having some problems with news aircrafts flying around there.”

An Associated Press investigation later confirmed those reports, unearthing previously-unreleased recordings of Ferguson officials admitting that the ban on aircrafts over the area was meant to keep the media out.