02-19-2017  8:41 am      •     
A protester is grabbed by police officers in riot gear after she refused to leave the motor way in front of the the Baton Rouge Police Department Headquarters in Baton Rouge, La., Saturday, July 9, 2016. Several hundred protesters, including members of the New Black Panther party, blocked the roadway causing police to close the road and move the crowd with riot police. Several protesters were arrested.(AP Photo/Max Becherer)

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A prominent Black Lives Matter activist, three journalists and more than 120 other people have been taken into custody in Louisiana over the past two days, authorities said Sunday, after protests over the fatal shooting of an African-American man by two white police officers in Baton Rouge.

Among those arrested was DeRay Mckesson, a leading figure in the Black Lives Matter movement that blossomed in the wake of the 2014 police killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.

Spokeswoman Casey Rayborn Hicks of the East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office told The Associated Press that nearly 100 people were taken to the parish jail in connection with protests that began late Saturday. The vast majority of them were from Louisiana and faced a single charge of obstructing a highway.

A first wave of arrests took place on Friday and early Saturday, with 30 people taken into custody.

Tensions between black citizens and police have risen palpably over the past week or so amid police shootings of African-American men in Minnesota and Louisiana and the gunning down of five white police officers by a black suspect in Dallas in apparent retaliation.

wfullscreen">

DeRay Mckesson Arrest

Authorities had just arrested a couple on a motorcycle driving by on the street when attention turned toward Mckesson, who was wearing bright red shoes. An officer could be heard pointing to a man with "loud shoes," and saying he would arrest him if he could reach him.

Booking documents provided by the East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office say Mckesson was arrested on a charge of obstructing a highway.

An affidavit of probable cause filed by police says Mckesson "intentionally" placed himself in the road after protesters were repeatedly warned via police loud speaker to remain on private property or the curb.

"During the protest, the defendant entered the roadway and was provided another verbal order to exit the lanes of travel. Moments later, the defendant entered the roadway again and was taken into custody by officers on scene without incident," the affidavit said.

Video: "Police have been violent"

Video posted on Periscope shows footage taken by McKesson in the moments leading up to his arrest. The video shows Mckesson walking alongside Airline Highway on his way back to the main area where the protests were going on when he was arrested.

On the video, Mckesson can be heard talking with fellow protesters and describing what he said was provocative police behavior against protesters.

"The police in Baton Rouge have been truly awful tonight," Mckesson said on the video. "They have provoked people, they chase people just for kicks. The police have been violent tonight. The protesters have not."

Moments later, someone shouts, "This is the police, you're under arrest! Don't fight me! Don't fight me!"

McKesson responds: "I'm under arrest, y'all!" before the camera is knocked to the ground.

Activists say they were peaceful

Activist Brittany Packett, who was with Mckesson, said in an email that he was on the highway shoulder when "multiple police crossed onto the shoulder, tackling Deray and arresting him."

Photo images taken by The Associated Press show police apprehending Mckesson, who at one point was on his knees before being pulled to his feet by police and led away with his hands secured behind his back.

Darren Bowers, 26, of Baton Rouge, arrived at the jail around 9 a.m. Sunday to see if he could get his girlfriend, 26-year-old Ariel Bates, released. Bowers wasn't present when Bates was arrested near police headquarters. Bowers said she called him from the jail early Sunday.

"She told me that they jumped all on her and her cousin on the grass. They weren't on the street or anything," Bowers said.

He said he believes police are "antagonizing" protesters.

"People are peacefully protesting. Why are (police) in riot gear?" he said.

Tumult across nation

The tumult over police killings reached well beyond Louisiana. In Minnesota, police arrested about 100 people in the capital of St. Paul during protests. Authorities said 21 St. Paul officers and six state troopers were hurt late Saturday and early Sunday during clashes stemming from the police shooting and killing of Philando Castile, a 32-year-old black man, during a traffic stop in suburban St. Paul on Wednesday.

The starting point of Saturday's demonstration was the convenience store where 37-year-old Alton Sterling was shot and killed last week. Protesters then fanned out to the Baton Rouge police department and the state Capitol.

The Department of Justice has opened an investigation into Sterling's death, which has angered many in the black community.

Shouting "No justice! No peace!" roughly 1,000 protesters gathered outside the police department, waving homemade signs as passing cars honked their support. Some drivers stopped by with bottles of water.

The protests lasted well into the evening but died down a little after midnight.

Journalists among arrested

Police in riot gear came out numerous times as the demonstration wore on into the evening, facing off against the crowd that yelled slogans and waved signs.

At one point early in the protest, a police officer on a microphone told the crowd that as long as they stayed on the grass and not on the road they could remain, and then police eventually pulled back and traffic reopened.

But officers came out again after the demonstration moved to a different area of the street. At one point numerous police cars, with their blue lights flashing, sped off down the street where a smaller group of protesters had walked.

A police spokesman said two firearms were confiscated and several arrests made. Authorities said they pulled in officers from nearby parishes to buttress their numbers.

WAFB-TV reporter Chris Slaughter was among those arrested, Hicks confirmed. Eve Troeoh, news director for New Orleans public radio station WWNO, said staff reporter Ryan Kailath was arrested.

Breitbart News reported that Lee Stranahan, one of its reporters, was arrested.

Calls for indictments

Members of the New Black Panther Party for Self Defense called for the arrest and indictment of the officers involved in Sterling's shooting, shouting "Black Power" and raising their fists.

"These are human rights violations," Krystal Muhammad shouted to the crowd at the convenience store before heading over to the police department. "They are not operating as human beings. They are being predators on our communities across America."

___

AP reporter Janet McConnaughey contributed from New Orleans.

Recently Published by The Skanner News

  • Default
  • Title
  • Date
  • Random
  • WASHINGTON (AP) — One month after the inauguration, the stretch of Pennsylvania Avenue in front of Donald Trump's White House still is a hard-hat zone. Skeletal remains of the inaugural reviewing stands poke skyward. Random piles of plywood and cables are heaped on the ground inside crooked lines of metal fencing. The disarray outside the president's front door, though not his fault, serves as a metaphor for the tumult still unfolding inside. Four weeks in, the man who says he inherited "a mess" at home and abroad is presiding over a White House that is widely described as itself being a mess. At a stunning pace, Trump has riled world leaders and frustrated allies. He was dealt a bruising legal blow on one of his signature policies. He lost his national security adviser and his pick for labor secretary to scandal. He's seen forces within his government push back against his policies and leak confidential information. All of this has played out amid a steady drip of revelations about an FBI investigation into his campaign's contacts with Russian intelligence officials. Trump says his administration is running like a "fine-tuned machine." He points to the rising stock market and the devotion of his still-loyal supporters as evidence that all is well, although his job approval rating is much lower than that for prior presidents in their first weeks in office. Stung by the unrelenting criticism coming his way, Trump dismisses much of it as "fake news" delivered by "the enemy of the people" — aka the press. Daily denunciations of the media are just one of the new White House fixtures Americans are adjusting to. Most days start (and end) with presidential tweets riffing off of whatever's on TV talk shows or teasing coming events or hurling insults at the media. At some point in the day, count on Trump to cast back to the marvels of his upset of Democrat Hillary Clinton in the November election and quite possibly overstate his margins of support. Expect more denunciations of the "dishonest" press and its "fake news." From there, things can veer in unexpected directions as Trump offers up policy pronouncements or offhand remarks that leave even White House aides struggling to interpret them. The long-standing U.S. policy of seeking a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? Trump this past week offered this cryptic pronouncement: "I'm looking at two-state and one-state, and I like the one that both parties like. I can live with either one." His U.N. ambassador, Nikki Haley, the next day insisted, "We absolutely support a two-state solution." Trump's days are busy. Outside groups troop in for "listening sessions." Foreign leaders call or come to visit. (Or, in the case of Mexico's president, cancel out in pique over Trump's talk about the planned border wall.) After the president signed two dozen executive actions, the White House was awaiting a rush order of more of the gold-plated Cross pens that Trump prefers to the chrome-plated ones used by his predecessor. Trump hands them out as souvenirs at the signing ceremonies that he points to as evidence of his ambitious pace. "This last month has represented an unprecedented degree of action on behalf of the great citizens of our country," Trump said at a Thursday news conference. "Again, I say it. There has never been a presidency that's done so much in such a short period of time." That's all music to the ears of his followers, who sent him to Washington to upend the established order and play the role of disrupter. "I can't believe there's actually a politician doing what he says he would do," says an approving Scott Hiltgen, a 66-year-old office furniture sales broker from River Falls, Wisconsin. "That never happens." Disrupt Trump has. But there may be more sound and fury than substance to many of his early actions. Trump did select Judge Neil Gorsuch to replace the late Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court, a nomination that has drawn strong reviews from conservatives. But the president is regrouping on immigration after federal judges blocked his order to suspend the United States' refugee program and ban visitors from seven Muslim-majority countries, which had caused chaos for travelers around the globe. Some other orders on issues such as the U.S.-Mexico border wall and former President Barack Obama's health care law are of limited effect. Trump says his early actions show he means to deliver on the promises he made during the campaign. "A lot of people say, 'Oh, oh, Trump was only kidding with the wall,'" the president told a group of police chiefs recently. "I wasn't kidding. I don't kid." But the Republican-led Congress is still waiting to see specifics on how Trump wants to proceed legislatively on top initiatives such as replacing the health care law, enacting tax cuts and revising trade deals. The messy rollout of the travel ban and tumult over the ouster of national security adviser Michael Flynn for misrepresenting his contacts with Russia are part of a broader state of disarray as different figures in Trump's White House jockey for power and leaks reveal internal discord in the machinations of the presidency. "I thought by now you'd at least hear the outlines of domestic legislation like tax cuts," says Princeton historian Julian Zelizer. "But a lot of that has slowed. Trump shouldn't mistake the fact that some of his supporters like his style with the fact that a lot of Republicans just want the policies he promised them. He has to deliver that." Put Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., in the camp of those more interested in substance than style. "I'm not a great fan of daily tweets," McConnell said Friday, referring to the "extra discussion" that Trump likes to engage in. But McConnell was quick to add: "What I am a fan of is what he's been actually doing." He credits Trump with assembling a conservative Cabinet and taking steps to reduce government regulation, and promised: "We like his positions and we're going to pursue them as vigorously as we can." The challenge may be to tease out exactly what Trump wants in the way of a health care plan, tax changes and trade policy. At his long and defiant news conference on Thursday, Trump tried to dispel the impression of a White House in crisis, squarely blaming the press for keeping him from moving forward more decisively on his agenda. Pointing to his chief of staff, Reince Priebus, Trump said, "You take a look at Reince, he's working so hard just putting out fires that are fake fires. I mean, they're fake. They're not true. And isn't that a shame because he'd rather be working on health care, he'd rather be working on tax reform." For all the frustrations of his early days as president, Trump still seems tickled by the trappings of his office. When New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie visited the White House last week to discuss the national opioid epidemic over lunch, the governor said Trump informed him: "Chris, you and I are going to have the meatloaf.'" Trump added: "I'm telling you, the meatloaf is fabulous." ___Follow Nancy Benac on Twitter at http://twitter.com/nbenac
    Read More
  • FDR executive order sent 120,000 Japanese immigrants and citizens into camps
    Read More
  • Pruitt's nomination was strongly opposed by environmental groups and hundreds of former EPA employees
    Read More
load morehold SHIFT key to load allload all