Dig Baton Rouge

Protests over Alton Sterling shooting get heated, 50 arrested

Though a protest of Alton Sterling’s death organized by three Baton Rouge High students was intended to be a peaceful march, tensions escalated when protestors attempted to block a freeway on-ramp.

Fifty people were arrested, all for blocking a highway, 38 of whom were from Louisiana.

Protestors hurled large chunks of concrete at officers, bouncing off their helmets and body armor, while policemen in gas masks wielding riot shields slowly approached the angry crowd.

Chants of “Black Lives Matter” and “No justice, no peace” were mixed with anti-police chants like “Blue Lives Murder.”

Eventually, a police SWAT vehicle pushed against the protestors, who had linked arms in front of the freeway ramp on French Street. Officers then rushed in to make arrests.

The confrontation was a far cry from the intent of the protest’s organizers.

Originally, the march began at Wesley United Methodist Church on Government Street, where peaceful protestors were escorted by police to the State Capital.

Some of the protestors then broke off from the initial march and went towards the freeway ramp on French Street, where the tone became more anti-government and anti-police.

Police say the organizers of the original march were not associated with those who broke off to block the freeway.

 

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