Culture

More Than 100, Including Activist DeRay Mckesson, Were Arrested At A Protest In Baton Rouge

Protestors once again hit the streets on Saturday night, striking out against police violence in Baton Rouge following the death of Alton Sterling earlier in the week. Unlike many peaceful protests during the week, Saturday night ended in more than 100 protestors being arrested according The Advocate. This includes Black Lives Matter activist and Baltimore mayoral candidate DeRay McKesson.

McKesson and several others documented the events of the protest on social media throughout the evening, highlighting the increased police presence in the area while claiming they were attempting to provoke those protesting:

McKesson had been documenting on Periscope at the time of his arrest, capturing the incident on camera as it happened according to the New York Times:

The arrest occurred about 11:15 p.m. as Mr. McKesson and other protesters were marching in Baton Rouge on Airline Highway, where they were warned by the police not to stray onto the road.

Mr. Mckesson, 31, repeatedly tells viewers that there is no sidewalk. Then, about five minutes into the broadcast, the video gets shaky and you hear the police say: “City police. You’re under arrest. Don’t fight me. Don’t fight me.” Then Mr. Mckesson shouts, “I’m under arrest, y’all.”

Fellow activist Johnetta Elzie reported that at least 33 had been arrested alongside the high-profile face of Black Lives Matter, but the total has now risen to more than 100. You can also see video of the arrest from others broadcasting from the scene:

There were also reports that several journalists were arrested during the evening, with some of the arrests being documented by those on social media:

Maya Lau with The Advocate spoke to authorities about why police were arresting protestors, with a state police official citing safety concerns with blocking the roadway:

“Well, they’re clearly blocking the roadway… “We welcome the protests. We want them to voice their opinions. That’s what we’re here to do, to make sure they’re safe and they’re able to do that.”

“We wouldn’t arrest people who are quietly protesting off the roadway,”

The arrests and confrontation with police is the latest incident following a week of tragedy, beginning with the death of Sterling in Baton Rouge, Philando Castile in Minnesota, and the ambush attacks on police in Dallas during another peaceful protest. The latter could also explain the increased caution used by police during protests, despite the appearance that it is meant to provoke.

McKesson was apparently able to text while in custody, noting the number that had been arrested with him and their condition.

No matter what side you support, it’s clear that the tensions from months of police incidents has not been relieved and has almost taken a different dynamic following this week.

(Via New York Times / Buzzfeed News / Mashable)

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