My short bio: I am a national breaking news reporter based in New York City. I have traveled across the country to cover stories including the school shooting in Newtown, Conn., the Boston Marathon bombing, and the death of Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Fla.

My Proof:

Comments: 3221 • Responses: 43  • Date: 

Mrewstersbillions620 karma

Was two weeks necessary?

yamiche819 karma

Yes, in my opinion, two weeks was necessary because the story continued to evolve. Protesting was happening as recently as yesterday when more than a 100 people marched down a main thoroughfare in Ferguson. Also, Michael Brown's funeral was Monday, more than two weeks after his death.

Mrewstersbillions262 karma

Can you tell us what you believe happened. Did he rob the store? Was he shot in the back? Did he attack the police officer in the car?

yamiche1222 karma

I can't say what I believe happened. There just isn't enough information available. The attorney for Brown's family has said the person captured in the convenience store video "appears to be" Michael Brown. The autopsy done by the family's private pathologist concluded that Brown was not shot in the back.

Khiva80 karma

Do you have any idea what the timeline is for the official investigation to conclude, or for real information to emerge?

I'd hate for this to end up concluding in the murky area we're in now, because it seems like there's so little information that anything could have happened. That would be a very frustrating way for this affair to wrap up.

yamiche133 karma

I've heard that the grand jury will be making a decision sometime in October but I don't no when the DOJ investigation will conclude.

dgeister289 karma

Dorian Johnson confirmed the robbery. The autopsy shows no wounds to the back. If we knew that we wouldn't be where we are.

yamiche216 karma

You are right. The family of Michael Brown from my reporting has not confirmed it but Dorian, according to police and his interviews, was there.

Ass4ssinX19 karma

The second autopsy, at least, mentioned the shots on the arm could have been delivered from the back during the press conference.

yamiche74 karma

This is true. However, the pathologist also said it was unlikely that he was shot in the back. However, the autopsy is only preliminary so more information could come out from that private family autopsy.

BetterWhenImDrunk511 karma

How restricted are you from giving a real opinion either way on this subject, given that you work for USA Today? Won't all of your answers have to follow a guidline?

yamiche1112 karma

I'm not restricted by USA Today. I haven't been given a guideline as to how to answer these questions. This is also my first AMA so I'm hoping I'm giving people the information they would like. However, I am also not a columnist so I don't give my opinion. I'm not here to offer what I think happened, or what should happen as a lot of columnists do because that is not my job. My job is to report facts and tell you what I witnessed. And, I am happy to do that.

Edman70403 karma

How did you get to be a reporter in this day and age?

(PS: Please, for the love of all that is good, continue to do EXACTLY THAT. Report the facts - this is the problem with most news now: injecting opinion and speculation, with a side of personal bias).

yamiche418 karma

Thanks. I got to be a reporter because I loved writing and poetry. I interned at a few places--The Miami Herald, The Seattle Times, and The Washington Post--and got lucky enough to get a job. I tell anyone who wants to be a reporter now to intern as much as you can and learn to write well. It's tough but worth it.

bacon_butts-12 karma

But you do realize that there is bias inherent even in article writing?

3kgtjunkie23 karma

Considering s/he does this for a living I would say he or she is probably more informed on what goes into writing an article and reporting than you are.

yamiche6 karma

Thanks for the input.

Kalium6 karma

There is arguably a bias present in everything. Noting this changes nothing and helps nothing.

Yamiche's job is to report information gained rather than offer opinions. That was and is the point being made.

yamiche4 karma

Thanks for the input.

looknclick-4 karma

I would be surprised to see an honest answer to this question.

karadan10012 karma

He answered and it was honest.

yamiche19 karma

Thanks. I'm actually a "she." :)

kenjiden250 karma

Have you tried Imo's pizza yet?

Hey, my first gold! Thanks, stranger!

For the record I do love Imo's but, as you can see below, there are a lot of other great places to get a pie in St. Louis too.

yamiche100 karma

I haven't. Is it better than New York's?

fcrwx210 karma

You captured a lot with Vine. What do you think of it as a platform for capturing live news events? Do you find it limiting or challenging in any way?

yamiche219 karma

I think it's an amazing platform for capturing video and getting it out quickly. It is hard to be limited to six seconds. However in this case, six second gave people a lot of information. For example, I did a vine about a peace train being made to leave the protests. It got more than 1.4 million "loops" because I took different angles, captured the police talking to the driver and captured it leaving.

Here is my vine of police asking the peace train to leave:

Buzz Feed also did a story on the train and asked me about my vine:

skylla0574 karma

It is hard to be limited to six seconds. However in this case, six second gave people a lot of information

Are you personally responsible for what you take, and deciding on whether or not to distribute it? Or do your producers have more of a say?

I only ask because couldn't it also create the exact opposite effect, misinformation based on such limited context?

I'm interested, because around here, you will see numerous posts of animated gifs that don't tell the whole story due to length and frame of reference, and you need to go into the comments for a "uncut" version which often times paints an entirely different situation. Just curious how this is handled on your end to provide enough context with such restrictive length.

yamiche121 karma

I'm a multimedia journalist so I post my vines myself and don't have a producer. I agree that six second can lead to misinformation. It's really tough to have six seconds or 140 characters to tell a story so I just try my best. I also write whole stories after to help people understand the context of my reporting.

EZ-Bake130 karma

Has there been any validation/disproof of the "Orbital Blowout Fracture / Eye Socket" story reported by Jim Hoft (from a secret source)?

I've seen folks discredit it and say there is no legitimate source for this (but right now, there seems to be a lot of exaggerating and flat-out fabrication on both sides of the issue).

If it is false, it puts a dent in a lot of arguments suggesting that Brown attacked Officer Wilson.

yamiche207 karma

I haven't seen any validation of that report. The Ferguson Police and the St. Louis County Police have denied repeated requests to comment or give any information to USA TODAY.

ijournalista128 karma

Thank you for working so diligently on this story. As a journalist myself, I have to ask: Did you get any feeling that the media's presence was exacerbating the situation in Ferguson, especially when they begin to outnumber actual protestors? Or have you been concerned about the way any journalists have been behaving there? We've been hearing some disturbing reports, and I wondered how prevalent the misbehavior actually is, or if it's just a few singular episodes that have captured more attention than they deserve.

yamiche156 karma

I have heard from several people that journalists may have been exacerbating the situation. However, I have personally spoken with people who said the protests hit a peek before USA TODAY, CNN, NBC, and other outlets came. The protests started within hours of Michael Brown's death and a convenience store was burned before the crush of journalists arrived.

dgeister69 karma

Thank you for the work you have been doing. I live in St. Louis and have followed very few non-local reporters on Twitter during this incident. What do you think of the Delmar divide? Does the rest of the nation have as many unaccredited public schools as the St. Louis area does? Have any of the Ferguson politicians/residents stepped up to the plate as someone who could replace Mayor Knowles?

yamiche69 karma

This is a really good question. I must say I'm not familiar with the Delmar divide. I also don't know about the statistics of unaccredited public schools around the country nor have I heard much about replacing Mayor Knowles. I have learned some about the political tensions that exist in St. Louis and read about the new Normandy Schools Collaborative. However, these are all important issues. If possible, can you inbox more information on these issues?

scayn_i61 karma

Have you been to a foreign country during civil unrest? If so how would you compare Furguson to your experiences there?

yamiche122 karma

I have never been to a foreign country during civil unrest so I can't answer this question.

Restrictedreality61 karma

You've been able to be close to the Brown family. Has law enforcement been reaching out to her? If so, what are they saying?

yamiche89 karma

Darryl Parks, an attorney for Michael Brown's family, said Brown's mother met with two attorneys from the U.S. Department Justice's Civil Rights Division and two prosecutors from the office of the U.S. Attorney Eastern District of Missouri. The meeting lasted about an hour with the officials not going into details about their work but ensuring a fair and through investigation into Brown's death and possible civil rights violations. The officials didn't any specifics about their investigation plans or what they have already learned.

eatpaste58 karma

have you been harassed or assaulted by police while there?

yamiche148 karma

I haven't been harassed or assaulted by police. However, I have been yelled at by police for taking photos instead of leaving an area as instructed. I still took the photo. I wrote about my experiences in Ferguson here for USA TODAY:

karmanaut160 karma

Just a reminder: please don't use shortened URLs. Reddit's spam filter generally dislikes them and may remove your comments automatically. Just use the full link; Reddit doesn't have a character limit like twitter.

yamiche159 karma

Thanks for this. I'm new to Reddit.

dagobahxcuh57 karma

Do you think this has more to do with abuse of power or class than race?

yamiche102 karma

That is a good question. Some experts I have talked to definitely believe that there are problems rooted in both race and class as well as abuse of power. How officers police communities is a question being asked by many people of all races, classes, and in varying neighborhoods.

fikustree43 karma

How come no one is covering Officer Darren Wilson? I feel like I've read Michael Brown's entire history in 50 different ways but I haven't read anything about the person that shot him. Where is he? Are people looking for him? Is he going to be charged with anything?

yamiche72 karma

USA TODAY has reached out to several people who know him and the police departments that employed him. However, everyone has declined comment so I know very little about Officer Wilson.

Drew1380040 karma

What's the worst thing you witnessed an outside agitator did/threw at.. Etc a police officer?

yamiche107 karma

I, personally, couldn't tell the outside agitators from the residents of Ferguson and other parts of St. Louis. However, the worst thing I saw someone throw was a bottle of water. I also saw some people pick up rocks but I never saw someone actually throw the rocks.

Priapistic25 karma

What is the difference between the US take and coverage on this compared to international media?

yamiche32 karma

I'm not sure.

SockMonkeyBabylon23 karma

Do you know if anyone outside the Ferguson PD has spoken with OFC Darren Wilson about the shooting? What do you know about the alleged radio show corroborator, "Josie?"

yamiche30 karma

I don't know anything about the alleged radio show corroborator, "Josie." It's also unclear who outside of the Ferguson Police Department has spoken to Officer Wilson. USA TODAY has reached out to the Ferguson Police several times but they are not commenting for any questions.

zeperf23 karma

Is there enough evidence to prove what happened, or is it completely up to the police department as to what happens to Officer Darren Wilson?

yamiche66 karma

I'm not sure how much evidence there is. However, the U.S. Department of Justice is involved and that means not only the police department determines what happens to Wilson.

Worst_Comes_To_Worst19 karma

Thanks for doing this AMA! In your opinion, how do you walk the line between covering the public's reaction to tragic events without sensationalizing them? What is the role of media in a case where police are seemingly brutally repressing protests, as in Ferguson?

Thanks for your time and thoughts!

yamiche49 karma

Ferguson was such an explosive story and experience that I just wrote what I saw. Some might see it as sensationalizing but tear gas, armored trucks, looting, fires, hundreds of protesters, and clashes with police tell the story without much addition from reporters. I think the media's ability to capture images of protesters with their hands up in front of armored trucks told the story and allowed people to form their own opinions.

hotyaznboi14 karma

1) Did you see anyone being arrested for being in the wrong place at the wrong time? Or were you yourself arrested for being outside a free speech zone?

2) Do you know of any recourse for those journalists who were outside the free speech zone and were arrested, then released a few hours later with no charge? It seems to me like a huge abuse of power to do such a thing. If the police are arresting people they should have the balls to press charges.

yamiche54 karma

1) I was not arrested and I didn't see anyone arrested for being at the wrong place at the wrong time. 2) I also don't know what recourse those journalists who were arrested outside the free speech zone have. It seems like they are still trying to figure out what to do, if anything.

CaptainChewbacca10 karma

Have you been to McDonald's lately?

yamiche34 karma

Nope. I don't eat McDonald's. I am a Wendy's fan.

YourEnviousEnemy10 karma

What is your overall opinion on making police wear cameras? And what do you generally think about police corruption? Is it a real thing, or just blown out of proportion? Thanks if you can answer.

yamiche26 karma

I don't give my opinions but many have said that police body cameras would be a good idea. Others worry about the cost of such a measure.

kamehamehamubagaa9 karma

Are you at all optimistic for the shooting and protests to lead to a shift in the severity of or awareness of prejudice black people in America face?

yamiche23 karma

Experts I have talked to believe that Ferguson will lead to some sort of shift in the awareness of prejudice and of questionable policing tactics. In the last two weeks, conversations about race, policing, profiling, and the militarization of local police departments have dominated society. It remains to be seen what will come of these conversations. But already the White House is weighing whether the federal government should continue to arm local police departments with military equipment in the wake of fiery protests here in Ferguson. (USA TODAY's story on that is here: ) And, as I'm sure you know, Attorney General Eric Holder has personally talked about his experiences with prejudice to the people in Ferguson.

Restrictedreality7 karma

Are Michael Brown's family being given updates on the grand jury trail?

yamiche12 karma

I'm not sure.

-CrazyWorld-5 karma

How do you justify 24-hour, 7-days a week coverage of an incident that is comparable to many other incidents that happen throughout the year? It appears to be a convenient way to draw attention to race relations within Ferguson and in the country as a whole, which is a worthy cause; however, the incident in a bubble is not news worthy when compared to many similar events that recently happened in the country such as the young unarmed white man gunned down by a black police officer.

yamiche12 karma

I think Ferguson was a story worth telling in a consistent way. The country was interested in this case in a way that has mirrored other incidents such as the Boston Marathon bombing and the school shooting in Newton. I'm not familiar with the case you are referring to involving the the young unarmed white man gunned down by a black police officer. However, if you have more information on that case, please inbox me.

yeawellfuckit5 karma

What is something going on that the media isnt showing that you could share?

yamiche9 karma

I wrote an article about this topic. Please read all that didn't make into stories:

JJRL-2 karma

Do you think it's racist of african american protestors to threaten and scare away the white protestors who were holding signs saying, "Justice for all"? How come no one talks about that?

yamiche15 karma

I didn't personally see any black protesters scare away white protesters. One of the lead peacekeepers who was helping coordinate the protesters was a white woman who is a pastor of a church here in St. Louis. I saw hundreds of people embrace her and listen to her when things got tense. I also photographed several other white protesters who were part of the protests and who did not get threatened.

moto_otom-7 karma

Why were you wasting your time covering this non-situation in Ferguson rather than reporting on the constant black on black crime and shootings in the city of Chicago?

yamiche8 karma

I'm a national reporter who covers breaking news stories. While the violence in Chicago is important, USA TODAY has other reporters focused on that city. Here in Ferguson, an important story developed and it was in many opinions newsworthy.

hsvp-12 karma

Why do you feel its necessary to race bait the country and incite people? You know there was a white (er lite Hispanic) man shot by a black cop. Where is your coverage of this? Does it not sound juicy enough to put a liberal spin on it? Should we revert to animalistic tendencies such as tearing our town apart to get media to cover this story?

yamiche3 karma

If you have a story that you think would be good to tell please inbox me. I can't comment on race baiting and inciting people. However, I can say that people in Ferguson believe there are real problems with racial profiling that existed long before Michael Brown died. And, there are others who say that profiling is reflected in cities across the country not just here in Ferguson.