Less than a week ago, Alton Sterling was killed by police in front of the Triple S Food Mart in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The video sent shockwaves through America, and followup footage showed that Sterling wasn’t holding a gun as he was pinned down by two officers. A few days later, Philando Castile was shot by an officer in Falcon Heights, Minnesota during a routine traffic stop. Then five officers died when Micah Xavier Johnson reportedly rained bullets upon an anti-brutality protest in Dallas. Protests have continued across the nation. Some have been peaceful while others were filled with conflict.
Baton Rouge saw protests throughout the weekend. Sunday night accelerated quickly, but first, a little backtracking. On Saturday evening, around 100 people were arrested, including Breitbart journalist Lee Stranahan, who was taken into custody after filming this encounter.
This is the clip I was arrested for filming. Saturday night #AltonSterlingProtestpic.twitter.com/zHHsFUSaLC
The last thing I saw before the cuffs went on.pic.twitter.com/hdFLHkUE7R
Stranahan is now out of jail but believes his arrest was unconstitutional.
I can’t stress this enough: not only do I believe my imprisonment was unconstitutional but I believe the other protesters was as well.
I was standing in the exact same area as a number of other photographers, it was blocked by the police.https://twitter.com/23goldenapples/status/752321173229219840 …
On Sunday, at least 40 more people were arrested in Baton Rouge. The Daily Beast notes how the press was corralled several blocks away from the protest area. The police reportedly threatened arrest (“We’re giving you an official direction”) upon all non-credentialed journalists and forbade them from stepping into the street. Officers moved into the area and advanced upon a group of protesters standing on private property with the homeowner’s permission.
BATON ROUGE HAS TURNED INTO SYRIA #AltonSterling #BlackLivesMatter #BatonRougepic.twitter.com/LCwAyP1AJA
CBS News’ David Begnaud spoke with the homeowner, who was “stunned at the behavior of police officers.”
Baton Rouge home owner “very upset” after police storm her yard arresting protesters who had permission to be therepic.twitter.com/gwE8aRGKfL
Police rushed inside a woman’s home and pulled out protesters who were inside to arrest them #AltonSterling
Around 100 officers threatened to arrest gatherers for unlawful assembly. They used sound cannons to push back crowds who held signs while chanting, “no justice, no peace.”
Look whats happening in Baton Rouge RNNoJusticeNoPeace #AltonSterling #BlackLivesMatter #BatonRougepic.twitter.com/0wz54B0JqI
Police now advancing on crowdpic.twitter.com/tUO7pPRhbS
Some close-up photos and videos show Baton Rouge police and SWAT officers dressed in riot gear.
Louisiana has no money for schools and children’s services but #BatonRouge has a small army.pic.twitter.com/3jxyAIEWsV
All we have is cameras, signs, and our voices. Police have riot gear #BatonRougepic.twitter.com/T6n3GxfDzV
Solange Knowles tweeted her experience during the protests. She noted that tear gas was being used near small children. She also says the gathering was peaceful, but police were heavily armed with “huge assault rifles.”
Protesters/marchers have been nothing but peaceful today in Baton Rouge. Police are here pulling out tear gas while children are around.
Most of the march/protest speakers in Baton Rouge were all under 17 years old… We all left feeling uplifted….
Yet as I walked back to my car I personally saw @BRPD pulling huge assault rifles out on peaceful protesters…
Black Lives Matter activist DeRay McKesson was also on the scene following his Saturday arrest. After leaving jail on Sunday afternoon, McKesson noted a peaceful gathering at the Triple S where Sterling died.
Triple S. #BatonRougepic.twitter.com/QWa78YGZVh
The sense of community at the Triple S tonight is incredible. #BatonRouge