An important Black Lives Matter leader was arrested in Baton Rouge, La. on Saturday. He spent a night in jail with over a hundred others after being arrested while protesting. He made a video of his arrest which of course went viral but the video doesn’t tell the whole story…
Deray McKesson came from Baltimore just to join the protests for Alton Sterling in Louisiana. He was arrested after directly disobeying police officers instructions and LIVE streamed his own arrest. He claimed that the police were being aggressive toward him and other protesters.
USA Today reports:
“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.
AP reported that Mckesson was taken into custody after a police officer approached him and said, “you with the loud shoes — if you step back into the street you’ll be arrested.”
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.
Deray McKesson was released on bond Sunday, but planned on returning to the protests.
“The police want protesters to be too afraid to protest.” McKesson said he was “confident that that the arrest was unlawful,” according to the Associated Press.
Do you think the police should have arrested protesters from blocking a roadway? Do you think blocking roads is aggressive or a peaceful way to protest?