According to TIME, the St. Louis Police Police Department confirmed that they requested flight restrictions from the FAA after a police helicopter was shοt at several times.
This will be the result of the FAA restrictions:
The FAA order restricts flights over the Ferguson area below 3,000 feet to first responders only, including medical and police helicopters. Private aircraft, including news helicopters, are prohibited from flying below 3,000 feet in a 3-mile radius around the town. The rule doesn’t apply to aircraft landing at or taking off from the nearby Lambert–St. Louis International Airport, a major commercial hub. The restriction is in place through August 18.
The FAA would not comment other than to say that the order was put in place to provide security for police.
“If you want it, file a FOIA ,” FAA Spokesperson Elizabeth Cory reportedly told TIME when pressed further, referencing a Freedom of Information Act request.
Although the official reason for the no fly zone is police helicopters being fired on, some in the community are wondering whether authorities are trying to keep police helicopters safe or ensure that news helicopters are prevented from covering the area.
As has already been reported, Ferguson looks like a war zone right now, with armed SWAT teams holding guns on unarmed citizens. Those images have gone viral and one wonders whether or not officials in Ferguson want to continue receiving bad press in the media.
Michael Brown was unarmed when he was gunned down by a Ferguson police officer. A witness at the scene said Brown had his hands in the air when police opened fire. The witness, a friend of Brown’s, also said Brown told police that he didn’t have a gun.