By JACK GILLUM and JOAN LOWY
WASHINGTON (AP) - The U.S. government agreed to a police request to restrict more than 37 square miles of airspace surrounding Ferguson, Missouri, for 12 days in August for safety.
But audio recordings show that local authorities privately acknowledged the purpose was to keep away news helicopters during violent street protests.
The information comes from Federal Aviation Administration recordings obtained by The Association Press under the Freedom of Information Act.
The recordings raise questions about whether the police request violated the constitutional rights of journalists and whether police were aided by federal officials who appeared on the recordings to be indifferent to those rights.