Baton Rouge: Protests Continue As Police Suit-Up In Riot Gear, Provoke Participants, And Arrest Black Lives Matter’s DeRay Mckesson

The protests in Baton Rouge over the death of Alton Sterling by the hands of police officers continued on Sunday. According to the Associated Press, the streets of Baton Rouge are currently full of armed law enforcement officials equipped with rifles to block protesters from marching on the ramps leading to Interstate 10 in Baton Rouge.

Approximately 130 people have been arrested in Baton Rouge as protests continue. Among those taken into custody was prominent Black Lives Matter figure, DeRay Mckesson, sparking the #FreeDeray hashtag on Twitter.

According to a police affidavit of probable cause, Mckesson “intentionally” placed himself in the road after protesters were repeatedly warned not to do so.

“During the protest, the defendant entered the roadway and was provided another verbal order to exit the lanes of travel. Moments later, the defendant entered the roadway again and was taken into custody by officers on scene without incident.”

Mckesson has since been released from jail and shared his thoughts on the Baton Rouge Police Department with the media earlier today.

Louisiana Governor, John Bel Edwards, said he’s “very proud” of the Baton Rouge police department’s response to the continuing protests.

The Baton Rouge police have also been using riot gear to push protesters off of the interstate — a move which Edwards claims isn’t “overly aggressive.”

“The police tactics in response have been very moderate. I’m very proud of that.”

The Governor also said that he was pleased with how the vast majority of protesters let their voices be heard without resorting to violence.

“I can assure everyone we are hearing the protesters. We are listening to their voices. But I’m especially gratified that our citizens here in Louisiana, to a very large degree, have decided to protest in a constructive and peaceful manner.”

Edwards, a Democratic governor, comes from a family of sheriffs.

Amid police shootings of African-Americans in the past week, in Baton Rouge — where protests continue — and Minnesota, tensions between black citizens and police have risen significantly with its fever pitch being the Dallas sniping attack to cap off an already bloody week.

The incident, which started as a peaceful protest, ended with 11 people shot and four officers dead in Dallas.

Baton Rouge police spokesman, Sgt. Don Coppola, blamed some of the violence and arrests in Baton Rouge on what he called “outside agitators.”


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Coppola wrote in an email that one officer lost teeth to a projectile thrown outside police headquarters. In addition, Baton Rouge police also confiscated three rifles, three shotguns, and two pistols during the protest.

Quite the contrary, sheriff’s spokeswoman, Casey Rayborn told The AP that most of the Baton Rouge protesters detained were residents of Louisiana.

Meanwhile in Minnesota, where the police killing of Philando Castile was protested, Saint Paul Police claim that six state troopers were hurt and about 100 arrests were mad late Saturday and early Sunday.

As the Baton Rouge protests continue, Governor Edwards said hundreds have marched throughout Baton Rouge with only one injury to an officer. Most arrests were classified as misdemeanors. Edwards stated the following.

“Protesting peacefully is the best way to honor those killed. Authorities won’t allow people to incite hate and violence. I want to be clear that will not be tolerated. We don’t operate like that in Louisiana.”

What do you think about the police protests in Minnesota and Baton Rouge, Louisiana?

[Photo by Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images]