U.S. Press Freedom Tracker

Freelance photographer Daniel Shular arrested in St. Louis

Incident Details

Date of Incident
October 3, 2017
St. Louis, Missouri

Arrest/Criminal Charge

  • Trespassing
    • Oct. 4, 2017: Charges pending
    • Oct. 4, 2018: Charges dropped
Detention Date
Release Date
Unnecessary use of force?
Status of Seized Equipment
Returned in full
Search Warrant Obtained
Daniel Shular
— Daniel Shular
October 4, 2018 - Update

Charge dropped against photographer arrested at St. Louis protest

A trespassing charge has been dropped against journalist Daniel Shular, who was arrested while covering a Black Lives Matter protest in St. Louis, Missouri, in October 2017, according to a representative for the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department.

Shular, a St. Louis-based freelance photographer, was caught up in a police “kettle” of protesters at the Oct. 3, 2017, demonstration and was held at a St. Louis jail before being released on Oct. 4.

The police representative said in a response to the Tracker's emailed query that, to their knowledge, neither the city counselor nor the circuit attorney pursued charges. The Tracker is listing the date of charges dropped as one year from Shular’s arrest, when the statute of limitations expired.

October 3, 2017

Daniel Shular — a St. Louis-based freelance photographer whose work has been published in NBC News, Xinhua and Riverfront Times — was arrested on Oct. 3, 2017, after covering a demonstration in St. Louis, Missouri.

That day, protesters in St. Louis shut down Highway 40, marching on the interstate and blocking traffic. The demonstration was a response to the acquittal in September of of Jason Stockley, a white former St. Louis police officer who in 2011 fatally shot Anthony Lamar Smith, a Black man.

Shular covered the protest. After the group of protesters exited the highway, lines of police officers enclosed them in a "kettle" and then announced that they would all be arrested.

Shular told the Freedom of the Press Foundation that officers ignored him when he said that he was a member of the press. He said that he was carrying two professional DSLR cameras and wearing a National Press Photographers Association press badge. Officers ordered him to sit on the ground and then arrested him.

He said that the police never told him specifically why he was being arrested. During the booking and process, he said, he saw a document that listed the charge as “trespassing.”

Shular said that he was held for about 17 hours before being released. His cameras were returned to him after he was released.

The U.S. Press Freedom Tracker catalogues press freedom violations in the United States. Email tips to [email protected].