U.S. Press Freedom Tracker

Independent journalist Jon Ziegler arrested in St. Louis for second time

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
Unnecessary use of force?
The Young Turks

A screengrab of a video filmed by The Young Turks shows Jon Ziegler (in purple) sitting on the ground shortly before being arrested by St. Louis police on Oct. 3, 2017.

— The Young Turks
October 4, 2018 - Update

Charge dropped against journalist arrested at St. Louis protest

A trespassing charge has been dropped against journalist Jon Ziegler, who was arrested while covering a Black Lives Matter protest in St. Louis, Missouri, in October 2017, he confirmed by email to the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker in August 2023.

Ziegler, an independent journalist, was livestreaming the Oct. 3, 2017, demonstration when he was caught up in a police “kettle” of protesters.

In a response to the Tracker's emailed query, a representative for the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department also said 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 Ziegler’s arrest, when the statute of limitations expired.

October 3, 2017

Independent journalist Jon Ziegler was arrested in St. Louis on Oct. 3, 2017, after livestreaming a demonstration on Highway 40. Ziegler was previously arrested in St. Louis on Sept. 17, while covering another protest.

On Oct. 3, 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 Jason Stockley, a white former St. Louis police officer who in 2011 fatally shot Anthony Lamar Smith, a Black man.

Ziegler was one of the journalists who provided live coverage of the march. Once 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. Ziegler and other journalists covering the march were also arrested.

Ziegler's livestream of the march captured his arrest and the arrest of other journalists.

St. Louis police perform a mass arrest of protesters, legal observers, and journalists.

Rebelutionary Z

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