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48 arrested after Government Street march ends

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BATON ROUGE - 50 protesters have been booked into the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison Sunday evening.

Among those arrested, seven of them were from Baton Rouge. Law enforcement arrested people outside of Baton Rouge as far north as New York and Minnesota. 

In a live interview on WBRZ.com, News 2 reporter Earl Phelps spoke with a protester who said the group was trying to get to I-110 to show passing drivers the magnitude of their message.  

Phelps asked, "Don't you know that is illegal?"

"We didn't know it was illegal," the man said in return. 

A block away, a number of Baton Rouge Police cars parked along Government Street, S 10th and entrances to I-110. 

A large group of as many as 100 demonstrators flowed onto East Boulevard, bringing SWAT and as many as three armored police vehicles into the area. Officers were decked out in full riot gear with some wearing gas masks. LSP later said it was never the intention of State Police to fire tear gas canisters into the crowd, but the masks were being worn as a precautionary measure.

At one point during the incident, law enforcement deployed a new high-intensity siren that aims to disperse crowds with a sound so loud that it hurts the ears of anyone within its considerable range. Phalanxes of body-armored offices used riot shields to contain the crowd. In another tense moment, officers went onto a the porch of a woman's house to make arrests of protestors.

SkyEye2 hovered above the situation and recorded video of a large stretch of Government Street being closed: from I-110 toward St. Ferdinand. Protests have been going on around Baton Rouge since Alton Sterling was shot and killed by Baton Rouge Police Tuesday. 

By 8 p.m., armored police vehicles and many of the officers were leaving the area of Government Street near East Boulevard after the assembled demonstrators quickly dispersed. Police said at least a dozen arrests were made during the incident.

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Follow the publisher of this post on Twitter: @treyschmaltz

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