The Washington Post‘s Pulitzer Prize winning Wesley Lowery told everyone to read HuffPost reporter Ryan J. Reilly‘s ‘What I Learned About Myself During Summer Vacation in Ferguson’ piece.
So I took his advice.
But first, the news: Lowery and Reilly are free at last. St. Louis County prosecutors have officially dropped the charges against them from two summers ago. The reporter duo was accused of trespassing in a McDonald’s in Ferguson, Mo. and interfering with police. Lowery was shoved into a soda machine. Police slammed Reilly’s head on a door. In turn, the reporters have agreed not to sue Missouri county for what they allege is the illegal conduct of its police officers.
What a deal!
Neither reporter was interested in making the story about himself — oh no, not at all.
Lowery, a race reporter and protest organizer for WaPo, reminisced on the episode that made him go viral with great fondness.
“If nothing else,” he tweeted at Reilly Wednesday, “I’m hoping this process finally taught you how to properly go viral.”
Presumably this was said in jest, but you know the joke is weak on humor and heavy with reality.
No, that is not Reilly above. It isn’t even Lowery.
But Reilly certainly sounds like Martin Luther King, Jr. doesn’t he?
In his essay on what Ferguson meant to him, Reilly says he would’ve liked to sue the Ferguson Police Department, but then he would’ve had to donate all the money to a local charity which would have been a colossal waste of time.
Like King used to always say, donating to people in need is an awful idea.
“We had been released relatively quickly, our case had received so much attention already and I felt that I’d ultimately have to donate any monetary settlement I received to charities in the St. Louis region, so it simply didn’t seem worth my time,” Reilly wrote in his essay.
He also wrote about the incredible stress that the whole thing imposed on his life.
“I’m glad it’s finally over,” he wrote. “But I’m still angry. I’m a new dad, and having a theoretical jail sentence hanging over my head — no matter how unlikely it was — during most of my wife’s pregnancy and in the first three months of my daughter’s life wasn’t fun.”
That’s all awful, of course. But the worst part of this is that I won’t be paying Lowery weekly visits in the jug.
So really, the disappointment is all mine.