Protesters gathered near BRPD headquarters in response to recent video of teen's arrest
BATON ROUGE- Protesters gathered near the Baton Rouge Police Department Wednesday evening in response to video footage released of an officer detaining two individuals following a police chase, one being a teen.
Community activist group "BR For The People" posted a call to action to social media Tuesday, inviting the public to protest the department.
The post prompted those interested in joining the "No Peace" protest to gather at Conn's parking lot, which is adjacent to the police department, at 5:30 p.m.
"We are done negotiating with BRPD. Their incompetence to listen to and serve us is a gross disrespect and disregard for the community. Join us this Wednesday. No justice... NO PEACE," the post reads.
In the video of the arrest that sparked initial controversy on social media, an officer’s knee is placed in a questionable position near the teen’s neck.
Two police officers involved in the arrest have been placed on administrative leave while the department investigates the placement of one officer's knee as the teen was handcuffed.
The tactic of holding a subject down by placing a knee on their neck is banned in the department and has become a flashpoint of aggressive policing in the wake of the death of George Floyd in Minnesota earlier this year.
Around 6:20 p.m., protesters moved from the Conn's parking lot to the BRPD parking lot, according to a video released on Instagram by "BR For The People."
In the video, the group can be heard chanting, "No justice, no peace, defund the police."
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About a dozen people were detained around 7:30 p.m. after being asked several times to stand on the other side of the barricade. Those individuals briefly spoke with Chief Murphy Paul and were released. No one was cited.
Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome issued the following statement on the matter Wednesday night:
Our city is still healing from events that have forever impacted the strength of our community and police relations.
We must remain vigilant to ensure we repair and reform this necessary relationship.
I have always encouraged and upheld the right for citizens to peacefully protest.
Through working from a place of understanding, tonight’s situation at police headquarters was deescalated and dialogue to reinforce the desire for better community-police relationships occurred with Chief Murphy Paul.
The protesters that were detained, were released and personally walked out by Chief Paul without any summons or charges.
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