EBRSO releases names of 50 arrested in Sunday protests
BATON ROUGE - The East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office has released the names of 50 people who were arrested during Sunday night’s Alton Sterling protest activity.
According to EBRSO, all of the individuals were charged with obstruction of a roadway.
The majority of arrested individuals are listed as being residents of New Orleans, but there were protesters taken into custody with home addresses in places as far away as Minnesota and New York. Just seven hailed from Baton Rouge.
The full list can be viewed by clicking here.
The arrests came during what began as a peaceful march in response to last week’s death of Alton Sterling during an officer-involved shooting. Authorities reported demonstrators had set a pre-approved route where a march would take place from Wesley United Methodist Church on Government Street and through downtown before winding up at the State Capitol. A witness at the scene said around 1,000 people were present at the Capitol by the time the march was completed.
Following the completion of the scheduled march, authorities said some of the protesters decided to head up Government Street to continue the march. Law enforcement speculated that the group of demonstrators may have been headed toward BRPD Headquarters several miles away on Airline Highway, but several witnesses at the scene said this was not the intended target. Police responded to the scene when it was learned that a group of the protesters had splintered off and were obstructing roadways. Government Street was closed down as hundreds of State Police, BRPD and EBRSO deputies went to try to disperse the crowd.
The tense confrontation would go on to span over a three-hour period that followed with police in full riot gear, some in gas masks and as many as three armored vehicles turning up to attempt to diffuse the peaceful protest. Law enforcement said they were forced to up the ante when a smaller group of protesters moved to block the Interstate 110 on-ramp at France Street. Officers began taking any protester into custody that was blocking the street.
At one point during the protest, a resident living at the corner of France and East gave protesters permission to come onto her property as long as they continued to demonstrate peacefully. More than 150 people assembled in the Lisa Batiste's yard to continue chating for justice until officers moved in to clear the crowd from her yard, despite the fact that she'd given them permission to be there.
The tension finally began to ease and break after nearly three hours of demonstration activity as proteters began to dissipate and police withdrew most, then all, of their remaining presence.
Police have drawn criticism for their response to the event with many claiming the heavily armed and armored response was unwarranted when all of the arrests from Sunday night were unrelated to attacks on law enforcement officers. Gov. John Bel Edwards has said he felt the police response was adequate and absent of unneccesary force.