NEW ORLEANS – A crowd of protesters, both for and against the removal of the monuments, gathered Monday night in Mid-City at the Jefferson Davis Monument.
One reporter said "tense doesn't begin to describe" the scene where open carry enthusiasts mixed with anti-monument protesters.
Matt Sledge with the New Orleans Advocate said a monument opponent began taunting a monument supporter, who stood armed with a rifle and a chest full of magazines.
Burning Confederate flag pic.twitter.com/pgA3wmSmc6— skooks (@skooks) May 2, 2017
Police were watching nearby as the small group of pro-monument protesters climbed the Jefferson Davis statue. Hundreds of monument opponents also gathered, many carrying black and red flags.
Police arrested five people on the scene. Three people were cited for disturbing the peace, one for possession of marijuana and public intoxication, and one, a legal observer for the National Lawyers Guild, said he was released with a summons for crossing a police cordon.
Tensions eased momentarily when police created a pathway for monument supporters to file into a flatbed truck for safety. Police then ordered everyone to move to the neutral ground across the street and away from the statue.
Around midnight, dozens of metal police barricades were placed around the base of the statues.
The Jefferson Davis Monument is one of three Confederate symbols slated by the city of New Orleans for removal. NOPD Deputy Superintendent Paul Noel addressed the media who had gathered and said nothing was happening to the monument that night.