BATON ROUGE — Protesters gathered again Saturday at a Baton Rouge convenience store, the city’s police department and the state capitol for another day of demonstrations following the fatal shooting of a black man by two white police officers in the store’s parking lot.
The gathering at the Triple S convenience store came after overnight demonstrations produced tense moments resulting in about 30 arrests.
The demonstrations were in protest of Tuesday’s police shooting of Alton Sterling, whose death was captured on cellphone video.
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There were several religious and civic leaders on hand. Before marching to the state capital, participants raised their right fists and took part in a prayer, where a religious leader urged for a peaceful procession.
The theme of non-violence and non-destruction were repeated in speeches on the steps of the capitol.
"It is symbolic we marched from city hall to the state capital, because this is where our leaders will work to change the laws we need."
Members of the New
“These are human rights violations,” Krystal Muhammad shouted to the crowd. “They are not operating as human beings. They are being predators on our communities across America.”
Some protesters also called for the resignation of East Baton Rouge Mayor
Other protests occurred at the Triple S store, site of the shooting, and in front of police headquarters, where there was a confrontation with armed Black Panthers. As the evening wore on, several other people gathered at an intersection on Airline Highway where tempers flared and 30 people were arrested Friday night.
Baton Rouge police said in a written statement they are investigating a newspaper website’s video that appears to show an officer with his weapon temporarily drawn at one point early Saturday morning as angry protesters confronted police.
“We are reviewing the video. It’s difficult to tell why the officer pulled his weapon. We are working to identify this officer so we can better understand the reason he might have done this,” said the emailed statement from Lt. Jonny Dunham of the Baton Rouge Police Department.
“After the Dallas murder of five officers at a protest the night before officers are very cautious and on the lookout for any threat,” Dunham’s statement said. “Tensions were very high last night on both sides. But in the end cooler heads prevailed.”
A demonstration is scheduled for 3 p.m. Sunday at the Westley
Louisiana Progress Advocacy and Outreach director David Waguespack said donations of water, paper towels and sunscreen are being asked for the afternoon demonstration. The march will begin at the church at 544 Government St. to the state capitol.
Donation drop-offs can be coordinated by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org