U.S. Press Freedom Tracker

Independent journalist Aminah Ali arrested in St. Louis

Incident Details

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

Arrest/Criminal Charge

Detention Date
Release Date
Unnecessary use of force?
Real STL News

Independent journalist Aminah Ali shows off her zip-tied hands in a screengrab from a video filmed inside a holding area in the St. Louis jail.

— Real STL News
October 3, 2017

Aminah Ali — a St. Louis-based independent journalist who founded local news site "Real STL News" — was arrested while reporting on a demonstration on Oct. 3, 2017.

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.

After the group of protesters exited the highway, lines of police officers enclosed them in a “kettle” and then ordered them to sit on the ground and began to arrest them. Ali, who was covering the march for Real STL News, was also arrested.

Real STL News later published a video that shows Ali, with her hands zip-tied behind her back, waiting in a holding area in the St. Louis jail.

"I am the founder of Real STL News and I've been apprehended," Ali says in the video. "Once again, this is Aminah Ali, this is the founder of Real STL News, and I'm locked up. I wasn't doing anything illegal. I let them know that I was media, and I was still apprehended."

According to Real STL News, Ali was released from jail on the morning of Oct. 4.

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