Police in Ferguson Haven't Been Wearing Identification

The Slatest
Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Aug. 15 2014 4:13 PM

Police in Ferguson Haven't Been Wearing Identification

453643968
The officers in this photo from Friday, Aug. 15 do not appear to be wearing identification.

Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images

Huffington Post reporter Ryan Reilly, who was arrested on Wednesday for not leaving a Ferguson, Missouri, McDonald's fast enough, writes on Twitter that Ferguson police have not been, and are still not, wearing nametags or any other means of identifying themselves:

Here's a photo he says is indicative (the item on the right side of the officer's shirt is not a nametag, Reilly says):

Advertisement

St. Louis's Riverfront Times reported the same allegation Wednesday, writing that a protestor "approached Riverfront Times and pointed at the line. 'The police are not wearing nametags,' he said. 'They don't want us to identify them, just like they won't identify the killer.' " Here's another photo that seems to show officers without identification:

453583704_1

Scott Olson/Getty

Missouri Highway Patrol Capt. Ron Johnson, who is now supervising Ferguson security, seemed to confirm the reports when asked about the issue today. From the Huffington Post:

"What happened is, some people are taking their names and going on the Internet and getting their identities and social security numbers, and so that's been occurring," Johnson said.
"I can't set rules for another police department," Johnson added, telling Reilly the Ferguson police chief would have to address the identification issues. Johnson also noted Missouri State Highway Patrol officers have removed their name tags "for their safety and security, but if you ask them their name they've been told to tell you."

Former St. Louis Police Chief Dan Isom, who is now a professor of criminal justice at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, told Slate that he is "not aware" of any law that requires police in Missouri to wear identification or give their names if asked. (Such behavior is a requirement in some states.) He added, however, that "most police departments have these policies."

Ben Mathis-Lilley edits the Slatest. Follow @Slatest on Twitter.

TODAY IN SLATE

Culturebox

The Ebola Story

How our minds build narratives out of disaster.

The Budget Disaster That Completely Sabotaged the WHO’s Response to Ebola

PowerPoint Is the Worst, and Now It’s the Latest Way to Hack Into Your Computer

The Shooting Tragedies That Forged Canada’s Gun Politics

A Highly Unscientific Ranking of Crazy-Old German Beers

Education

Welcome to 13th Grade!

Some high schools are offering a fifth year. That’s a great idea.

Culturebox

The Actual World

“Mount Thoreau” and the naming of things in the wilderness.

Want Kids to Delay Sex? Let Planned Parenthood Teach Them Sex Ed.

Would You Trust Walmart to Provide Your Health Care? (You Should.)

  News & Politics
The World
Oct. 22 2014 2:05 PM Paul Farmer Says Up to Ninety Percent of Those Infected Should Survive Ebola. Is He Right?
  Business
Business Insider
Oct. 22 2014 2:27 PM Facebook Made $595 Million in the U.K. Last Year. It Paid $0 in Taxes
  Life
The Eye
Oct. 22 2014 1:01 PM The Surprisingly Xenophobic Origins of Wonder Bread
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 22 2014 10:00 AM On the Internet, Men Are Called Names. Women Are Stalked and Sexually Harassed.
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 22 2014 5:27 PM The Slate Walking Dead Podcast A spoiler-filled discussion of Episodes 1 and 2.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 22 2014 10:39 PM Avengers: Age of Ultron Looks Like a Fun, Sprawling, and Extremely Satisfying Sequel
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 22 2014 2:59 PM Netizen Report: Twitter Users Under Fire in Mexico, Venezuela, Turkey
  Health & Science
Wild Things
Oct. 22 2014 2:42 PM Orcas, Via Drone, for the First Time Ever
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.