Police stand ready amid concerns of I-10 bridge protest
PORT ALLEN - Police and sheriff's deputies on either side of the Mississippi River made their presence known Monday morning amid threats protesters related to the police reform movement would try to walk onto I-10 and the Mississippi River Bridge.
In Baton Rouge, a number of Baton Rouge Police gathered at the entrance to the bridge between Old South Baton Rouge and downtown. A similar contingent of officers was put in place Sunday night as protesters marched toward I-110.
The largest number of officers standing ready, though, was in West Baton Rouge where the sheriff told WBRZ Monday morning he had as many as 300 personnel near the interstate, ready to deploy. Sheriff Mike Cazes said protesters started meeting at Port Allen gas stations as the morning commute began but the groups quickly dispersed.
"We just saw some groups that showed up to truck stops, they left after an hour of sitting there, and never showed up at the bridge," the sheriff said in an interview with WBRZ.
Cazes said there were 300 officers within a two-mile radius of the bridge, ready to move.
The potential protest Monday morning was the first time protesters ventured outside of Baton Rouge. Since the shooting death of Alton Sterling by Baton Rouge Police officers Tuesday, there have been protests at Baton Rouge Police Headquarters, the State Capitol, downtown Baton Rouge along Government Street near I-110, the store where Sterling was shot and killed in North Baton Rouge and a small gathering at Cortana Mall.
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