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  1. #1
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Aug 2008
    PARADISE (San Diego)

    Police arrest Black Lives Matter activist DeRay Mckesson, 200 other protesters

    Police arrest Black Lives Matter activist DeRay Mckesson, 200 other protesters

    Police arrest activist DeRay Mckesson during a protest along Airline Highway, a major road that passes in front of the Baton Rouge Police Department headquarters Saturday, July 9, 2016, in Baton Rouge. (AP Photo/Max Becherer) (Max Becherer/AP)

    By Fenit Nirappil, Wesley Lowery and William Branigin
    July 10 at 5:23 PM

    Police arrested a prominent Black Lives Matter activist and more than 200 other people late Saturday and early Sunday on a night of tension and unrest during protests over the recent fatal shootings of black men.

    DeRay Mckesson, one of the most visible faces of the Black Lives Matter movement, was among 120 people arrested in Baton Rouge, and at least 100 others were detained in St. Paul, Minn., following what police described as rioting there that injured 21 officers.

    Mckesson was freed Sunday afternoon, authorities reported. No details were immediately available on the conditions of his release.

    The protests began Saturday with demands for accountability from police and stretched into early Sunday in Baton Rouge and St. Paul, where tensions are most raw after the deaths of Alton Sterling in the Louisiana city and of Philando Castile in Falcon Heights, a St. Paul suburb.

    With activists and police on edge after those deaths and the sniper killings of five police officers in Dallas, the United States is “sitting on a powder keg,” said Charles H. Ramsey, a former police chief in Washington and Philadelphia.

    Demonstrators block traffic to protest the shooting death of Alton Sterling near the headquarters of the Baton Rouge Police Department in Baton Rouge, July 9, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Bachman (Jonathan Bachman/Reuters)

    President Obama plans to travel to Dallas on Tuesday at the invitation of the city’s mayor to deliver remarks at an interfaith memorial service for the slain officers, the White House said Sunday.

    [Dallas police chief: Shooter seemed delusional, scrawled messages in blood]

    In a news conference Sunday in Spain, where he cut short a European trip because of the unrest in the United States, Obama said, “Any violence directed at police officers is a reprehensible crime.” He said that although protests are protected by the long-standing American right to free speech, those who engage in overheated rhetoric against police are “doing a disservice to the cause.”

    “I think that the overwhelming majority of people who are involved in the Black Lives Matter movement, what they really want to see is a better relationship between police and the community,” Obama said. At the same time, he added, “I would hope that police organizations are also respectful of the frustrations people in these communities feel and not just dismiss these protests and complaints.”

    A Baton Rouge parish prison official told The Washington Post on Sunday morning that about 120 people were arrested overnight at multiple protest sites across the Louisiana capital.

    [Black Lives Matter Activist DeRay McKesson taken into custody by Baton Rouge police]

    Mckesson was charged with obstructing a highway of commerce, said the prison official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because she was not authorized to talk to reporters. She said bond had not been set for the arrested protesters as of late Sunday morning.

    Another official said bonds for demonstrators arrested the previous night were $250 to $400.

    ST. PAUL, Minn. — Protesters shut down highway I-94 on July 9, 2016, in St. Paul to protest the police killing of Philando Castile on June 6, 2016, in Falcon Heights, Minn. (Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) (Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)

    In a phone interview with The Post after his release, Mckesson said the charges against him have not been dropped.

    “The protesters were peaceful last night, the police were not,” he said. “I came to stand in solidarity with the people who stood in solidarity with us. I was with local activists when I was arrested yesterday,” he said. “I was in compliance with the law, and I am confident that this was an unlawful arrest.”

    Roy J. Rodney Jr., a lawyer who practices in Louisiana and Texas, said of Mckesson: “He was held an inordinate amount of time. And normally people who peacefully protest are not arrested in this fashion.”

    Rodney said he was contacted by William “Billy” Murphy Jr., one of the Baltimore attorneys who represents the family of Freddie Gray, who asked him to intervene on Mckesson’s behalf.

    “It’s our sincere hope that the charges will be refused by the state of Louisiana,” Rodney said.

    In Minnesota, a late-night sit-in on a highway broke up after smoke bombs and flash-bang grenades were used by officers, who were the targets of rocks and water bottles thrown by protesters. During the confrontation, five officers suffered minor injuries — including one struck in the head with a large piece of concrete, a St. Paul Police Department spokesman tweeted. He later told the Star Tribune newspaper that about 50 people were arrested during that incident and 50 more later in the night.

    Police subsequently said that 21 officers were injured.

    “We will not tolerate the kind of shameless violence we saw throughout the course of the night,” St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman told reporters Sunday after about 300 protesters had blocked Interstate 94 in St. Paul on Saturday night. “This doesn’t honor anyone’s memory.”

    Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton (D) called the shutdown of the interstate “unlawful and extremely dangerous.” He praised police and protest leaders “who were doing their utmost to stop this very dangerous situation,” news agencies reported.

    The people arrested during the melee could be charged with rioting, the St. Paul police spokesman told The Post. The others, detained at a different location, were cited for public nuisance and unlawful assembly and released, he said.

    Shortly before 10 p.m. local time Saturday, someone had shot at the San Antonio Police Department headquarters. No one was injured, but police leaders were anxious, given the killings of five officers in Dallas on Thursday by a gunman who, police say, was enraged by the deaths of black people at the hands of police officers.

    [Amid protests and vigils, a small cry for a nation on edge: ‘It hurts too much’]

    The unrest did not rise to the level of the widespread violence that erupted after the death of Freddie Gray in police custody in Baltimore last year or the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., in 2014. But demonstrations over the latest police-involved shootings were punctuated with tense confrontations.

    In an interview Sunday morning on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Ramsey said: “You can call it a powder keg. You can say that we’re handling nitroglycerin. But obviously when you just look at what’s going on, we’re at a very critical point in the history of this country.” The former police chief, whom Obama chose in 2014 to head the Task Force on 21st Century Policing, also expressed concern about incidents during the upcoming Republican and Democratic national conventions because “the climate is simply too volatile.”

    On Saturday, members of the New Black Panther Party came face to face with Louisiana state troopers outside a police headquarters. At night, police took dozens of activists in Baton Rouge into custody, including Mckesson.

    Mckesson, who lives in Baltimore, documented protests in Baton Rouge on Saturday, his 31st birthday. He narrated the events surrounding him on Periscope, criticizing Baton Rouge police for what he saw as a heavy-handed response to peaceful protests. And did the same in frequent postings on Twitter and Vine.

    As he and other activists marched through one of Baton Rouge’s busiest highways, which passes the police headquarters, Mckesson assailed police for provoking people after an officer threatened to arrest anyone walking on the road, according to video obtained by The Post.

    Another high-profile activist fired back that they were on the shoulder because there was no sidewalk.

    Later, officers approached Mckesson. The smartphone he was using to broadcast the march and his ongoing commentary fell from his hands as he was arrested.

    According to other activists, two police officers slammed Mckesson to the ground and took him into custody along with 33 other activists.

    In a text message to The Post from within police custody, Mckesson said he and the nearly three dozen others were in custody together, wrists tied, and being taken to a police precinct. A police spokesman confirmed his arrest to the Advocate newspaper but did not elaborate on potential charges and did not respond to a request for comment from The Post.

    Mckesson called a close friend in Baltimore around 5:30 a.m. and told her he was in okay physical condition but did not know when he would be released, the friend told The Post.

    News of Mckesson’s arrest quickly spread on Twitter, fueling outrage over the possibility that he may have been deliberately targeted. The hashtag #FreeDeray began to trend almost immediately on Twitter after Mckesson’s arrest and was trending with more than 100,000 tweets hours later as of 5 a.m., with many tweets urging people to call Baton Rouge police and demand his release. Mckesson was arrested nearly a year ago in August during a sit-in outside a federal courthouse in St. Louis to commemorate the first anniversary of Brown’s death.

    Mckesson rose to national prominence when he left Minneapolis after the death of Brown in Ferguson to become an activist and to document the growing movement seeking reforms in how law enforcement across the country treats communities of color. He has amassed roughly 450,000 Twitter followers and has been a forceful advocate for the Black Lives Matter movement on cable and in late-night television appearances.

    Earlier this year, Mckesson sought to transform from activist to politician by running for Baltimore mayor. But the national spotlight wasn’t enough to endear him to voters there, and he finished far behind well-established political figures in the Democratic primary.

    In the quiet period after the plethora of tense standoffs and arrests in Baton Rouge, three young protesters put on thin blue gloves and grabbed large trash bags.

    “Last night, when people was running, they were tripping over the water bottles,” said Allyson Leach, 24. “This way if something happens, people will be safe.”

    Across from them, police officers formed a human barricade outside police headquarters.

    Barely moving. Shields up.

    Still, protesters kept coming. They gathered on a swale outside a Shell gas station. They shouted, “No justice, no peace!”and wondered whether the police would charge at them again. They carried signs — “I Can’t Keep Calm I Have a Black Son,” one read — and raised their voices to sing “We Shall Overcome” and dropped used water bottles on to the ground.

    Leach and her friends were there to pick them up.

    “I am working full time, I’m a student and a mother,” added Shelby McKnight, 25. “But I am out here anyway because we need to stand up.”
    Local Politics Alerts

    Earlier Saturday evening in St. Paul, Castile’s friends, family and relatives from as far as St. Louis assembled in a parking lot at dusk, waiting for the light to fade.

    Steps away, along Larpenteur Ave., in Falcon Heights, Castile was pulled over and fatally shot during a traffic stop on Wednesday, and his girlfriend streamed his dying moments and the officer’s reactions in a widely viewed Facebook Live video. In the days since, a makeshift memorial formed beside the pavement, where the hot sun wilted flowers and melted candle wax into puddles on the concrete sidewalk.

    When the sunlight faded, family members lighted the remaining candles anew and tied up shiny balloons to memorialize Castile at the place where he died. His sister, Allysza Castile, thanked the group of about 50 who came to pay their respects. They held a moment of silence and prayed to “find justice in his death.”

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  2. #2
    Senior Member European Knight's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Black Lives Matter protests target interstates in Baton Rouge, Memphis

    Sirica Bolling raises her fist as she walks down Jefferson Avenue during a Black Lives Matter protest
    against police brutality in Newport News, Va., Sunday July 10, 2016. (Aileen Devlin/The Daily Press via AP)
    (Aileen Devlin)

    Officers in riot gear arrested dozens in Louisiana's capital near the close of a long hot weekend of protests over the killings of black people by police, with demonstrations around the country punctuated by activist attempts to block some key interstates.

    Helmeted police moved in and kept a group of protesters late Sunday in Baton Rouge from entering a major artery, Interstate 110 in Baton Rouge, thwarting a tactic that social justice activists have increasingly tried in some major cities to protest the deaths.

    Authorities reported one officer injured when he was hit by a projectile in Sunday's protest.

    Tensions between black citizens and police have risen palpably since last week's killings of Alton Sterling in the Louisiana capital, Baton Rouge, and Philando Castile in Minnesota by white officers, and a retaliatory attack on white police by a black sniper in Dallas that killed five officers and wounded several others including two civilians.

    More than a thousand people left a Black Lives Matter rally in Memphis, Tennessee, and occupied a key bridge over the Mississippi River on Sunday night, temporarily blocking all traffic on Interstate 40.

    On the West Coast, hundreds of people poured into the streets of in Southern California late Sunday night, shutting down a major intersection and blocking traffic on the 405 Freeway for several minutes while peacefully protesting the recent fatal police shootings of black men. Authorities told the Los Angeles Times there were no arrests and no reports of violence.

    Several hundred people blocked an area of Interstate 94 in Minneapolis-St. Paul on Saturday. And hundreds answered a call by that group to march onto I-264 in Portsmouth, Virginia, marooning motorists for hours inside the area's Downtown Tunnel recently. In recent days, demonstrators also tried but failed to block highways in Atlanta and Columbia, South Carolina, while in San Francisco, police managed to keep them off the Bay Bridge.

    Leaders in some local communities have sought to discourage the traffic-blocking tactics.

    "While I appreciate the peaceful intent of this weekend's rallies, I'd ask that we not put our fellow citizens or law enforcement at risk — which is exactly what attempting to block highways does," South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley said in a statement.

    In Louisiana, some 2,000 people rallied peacefully Sunday outside the Capitol building, State Police Maj. Doug Cain said.

    "They didn't have any problems out there. They seemed to be very organized and peaceful," Cain said.

    By Sunday night, a few hundred people aimed for an on-ramp of Interstate 110 in Baton Rouge.

    After a lengthy standoff, more police in full riot gear moved in, pinning some of the protesters as others fled. Some 30 to 40 people were taken into custody for trying to block a highway, sheriff's spokeswoman Casey Rayborn Hicks said.

    Video footage showed helmeted officers reaching into a crowd of chanting demonstrators and seizing individuals. The arrests brought the count to more than 160 taken into custody in recent days in the Louisiana capital.

    Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said at a late weekend news conference that he was "very proud" of the his state's law enforcement response. Flanked by officers in uniform, Edwards said he didn't believe using riot gear to push protesters away from highway ramps was overly aggressive.

    "I can assure everyone we are hearing the protesters," the governor added at the news conference. "We are listening to their voices. But I'm especially gratified that our citizens here in Louisiana, to a very large degree, have decided to protest in a constructive and peaceful manner."

    A Baton Rouge police spokesman, Sgt. Don Coppola, had blamed the large number of arrests on outside agitators. Police also confiscated three rifles, three shotguns and two pistols during that protest, he wrote in an email.

    But most of those detained live in Louisiana — the Baton Rouge and New Orleans areas mostly — and faced a single charge of obstructing a highway, the sheriff's spokeswoman Hicks said.

    Some of the recent demonstrations in Baton Rouge began at the convenience store where 37-year-old Alton Sterling was killed while two police subdued him. The U.S. Justice Department has launched a civil rights investigation.

    The Associated Presson July 11, 2016 at 6:49 AM

    Black Lives Matter protests target interstates in Baton Rouge, Memphis

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