July 11, 2016

Officer Draws Weapon on Baton Rouge Protesters

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BATON ROUGE, Louisiana — At least one officer aimed an automatic weapon at protesters Saturday night in Baton Rouge as police clad in riot gear advanced on a group marching toward the Interstate-12 onramp. The officer pointed the gun at onlookers, who were mostly teenagers and young adults.

Waving the weapon back and forth, the officer yelled, “get back” as several additional officers threw a protester to the ground while making an arrest.

Screams of “don’t shoot, don’t shoot” pierced the heavy air.

"I feel like the cops are being intimidating in a way and at the same time, they’re looking for a reason to take us out," said Baton Rouge resident Tyler Jones,16, nodding toward another officer looking down the barrel of a weapon from his perch atop one of several military-style vehicles that rolled by.

Protests in Baton Rouge were mostly peaceful, but escalated around 11pm as activists briefly shut down Airline Boulevard and marched toward I-12. The crowds were protesting the death of Alton Sterling, who was shot and killed by Baton Rouge police officers on July 5th.

For many teens and young adults, the protest wasn’t just about the anguish of seeing a member of their community killed by police, but about an ongoing distrust of law enforcement and a concern for their future.

Sherif deputies in riot gear deployed to respond to protesters gathered in front the Baton Rouge Police Department headquarter.

Marco Poggio

Sherif deputies in riot gear deployed to respond to protesters gathered in front the Baton Rouge Police Department headquarter.

“I actually am scared, because I have a brother and I have a boyfriend. And if they get pulled over, what’s going to happen?” said Lakeema Remo, 23.

“I stay in the house. Who wants to go out and not know what’s going to happen?” she added.

Several protesters, including Black Lives Matter activist DeRay McKesson, were arrested and police dragged away at least two reporters covering the protests.

A spokesman for the Baton Rouge Police Department could not immediately comment on the officer waving a weapon, but said via email that 102 individuals were arrested Saturday night. Most were charged with obstruction of a highway. Other charges included disturbing the peace, resisting and inciting a riot.

Earlier Saturday, North Baton Rouge community members gathered peacefully under a blazing sun in the Triple S Food Mart parking lot where Sterling was killed. They said they came seeking solutions and to mourn Sterling, who was a fixture in the neighborhood and was often seen outside the store.

Food Mart, where Alton Sterling was shot to death by police officers of the Baton Rouge Police Department days ago.

Marco Poggio

Food Mart, where Alton Sterling was shot to death by police officers of the Baton Rouge Police Department days ago.

Tamia Hawkins,16, is one of several young people in the neighborhood who is skeptical that the officers who killed Sterling will be held accountable.

“Because they took somebody’s father, somebody’s brother, somebody cousin, somebody uncle, I think death is the best solution.”

Later in the day, as the night sky was filled with flashing blue lights, sirens and the sounds of honking horns, those sentiments were echoed by Jones.

“I think that justice needs to be served by the police officers that took the man’s life,” he said, still upset over what he said was heavy-handed treatment of protesters by police.

“We need to put an end to this. They need to stop the killing of our people.”

Karen Savage

An officer points a weapon at protesters in Baton Rouge July 9, 2016. Community members are calling for justice for Alton Sterling, who was killed by Baton Rouge police officers on July 4th.

9 thoughts on “Officer Draws Weapon on Baton Rouge Protesters

  1. The very epitome of biased reporting. Don’t talk about the numerous reports of these protests turning violent at the drop of a hat, don’t talk about people breaking the law, just fearmonger about that one time a cop pointed a gun at someone- Something that police do ALL THE TIME and that have PROTECTION UNDER THE LAW to do to basically anyone they want. Might as well rename this article “Officer does his job”- While uninformed idiots think that there shouldn’t be a step between a gun being in a holster and that gun being fired, much like is taught in civilian firearms classes and the military, the tactic of drawing a gun and keeping it trained on a suspect is a vital part of law enforcement doctrine and has been for decades. Meanwhile, it’s also very misleading to talk about officers’ weapons as “Automatic”, as, while it’s technically correct when referring to their SEMI-AUTOMATIC firearms, also known as the same ones that are available to any Joe who has an agenda and enough money in the bank, most people assume that “Automatic” means “Fully automatic” and then get scared because if the police have (fully) “automatic” weapons, they’re obviously planning to mow down poor, innocent, violent criminals by the sextillions, those racist monsters. Utterly despicable journalism.

    • Civilians cannot buy the M4 (semi & 3 rd burst), which is what police use. The fully auto M4A1 is prevalent in many police stations who received the homeland defense equipment and riot gear allotment in the past two years. Know your guns before you speak like an expert.

  2. Here’s an idea….. WHITE OFFICERS….GET JOBS IN THOSE AREAS WHERE YOU LIVE. DON’T WORK IN BLACK NEIGHBORHOODS IF YOU’RE SO DAMN SCARED. KEEP YOUR ASSES IN YOUR OWN AREAS WHERE YOU MAKE $20K LESS per year and work part-time. Stay away from minorities if you don’t know how to do your job. Its ironic that 200 lb white men are afraid for their lives in all these murders but NEVER FEMALE OR BLACK OFFICERS. Maybe white men shouldn’t be cops😑

  3. Cops in cities like Baton Rouge are simply terrorists. Here’s a solution: send a swat team to round up those police thugs and drop them all in North Korea where they can terrorize people all they want with their North Korean buddies. They’re not police they’re simply terrorists and America has no use for terrorists.

  4. “Not so simple for whites when going to black neighborhoods”???? What???

    Same rules apply! It’s VERY SIMPLY. Don’t carry a gun, Don’t try to get that gun to shoot the police or anyone else. DO WHAT YOU ARE TOLD !

    • You are a fool. Are you stating anyone with a gun in a black area has it for the purpose of shooting cops?

      As for DO WHAT YOU ARE TOLD…. Same mentality of the ignorance of the 50’s/60’s etc..

      We don’t need any of them thear uppity black negroes thinking they have a say, eh?

      Shame on you.

      Your personal data will now be released to the world. Enjoy the flood. We sure will.

      Scarlet Anonymous

      ExpectUs

  5. Dont carry a gun, Dont try to get that gun to shoot the police.. Do what you are told! very very simple.. Not so simple for whites when going to black neighborhoods