Officers moved in to dismantle the gear soon afterwards.
[Sheriff's Department spokesman Lt. David Tiefenbrunn] said he did not know which of the police departments in the area fired the gas, but that he did not believe the [Al Jazeera] reporters were targeted.Is there really any chance in hell the SWAT team "accidentally" dropped tear gas directly below a well-lit camera crew? They were so disabled by the camera lights that they thought maybe the team of reporters with their clearly visible camera gear were up to no good? Just like the reporters in McDonald's were up to no good? Just like the reporter asking for directions was up to no good?
“I'm sure that when they did deploy that, they were unaware that there were media there,” he said, adding that bright lights hindered visibility in an already confusing situation.
All right, let's accept this argument. Here's a thought, then: How about you not fire tear gas at targets you can't actually identify? The camera crew sure as hell wasn't rioting, so why —reporters or no—was there tear gas fired at them at all?