Louisiana

Baton Rouge Protesters Flee to Private Property, Militarized Police Chase Them Off and Arrest Many

Black Lives Matter's DeRay Mckesson and Breitbart News' Lee Stranahan among over 100 journalists and protesters arrested over the weekend.

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Private property
Twitter/@lizzkatherine_

A weekend of protests against the Baton Rouge police shooting of Alton Sterling has led to over 100 protesters and journalists being arrested in various locations around the city, as well as a series of viral images that seem to show an overmilitarized reaction by police to the protests. 

One of the most striking pieces of viral media to come out of the unrest is the camera-phone footage shot by Elizabeth Thomas, a New Orleans native who graduated from Louisiana State University in 2015. The video shows what looks like at least 100 riot-gear clad officers with rifles forming a perimeter around the protesters, who have retreated from the street and onto the front lawn of a private home. About fifteen seconds into the video, the officers begin marching in formation toward the protesters. 

Then, all hell starts to break loose as a few officers attempt to arrest a few protesters, after which a number of protesters begin to chant, "This is private property!"

About a minute later, a number of protesters on the sidewalk (separated by a fence from the front yard) are taken down and arrested by officers, while one officer looks directly at Thomas (still holding the camera-phone) and instructs her to "go back, go back."

Watch Thomas' footage below:

In a phone interview earlier today, Thomas told Reason that she traveled to Baton Rouge to be a part of "youth-led protests" meant to take a stand against "the atrocities happening in our own back yard." She says the protesters held a peaceful rally outside the state Capitol, then a portion of them attempted to march along the Interstate highway (a common Black Lives Matter tactic) but were blocked by the police and diverted to a city road.

Then, Thomas says, a police MRAP showed up on the scene as officers threatened to deploy tear gas on the protesters if they did not disperse. The crowd refused, so Thomas says police advanced on them "dragging anybody they see in their way to the ground, kicking them, punching them, and arresting them." From there, the crowd retreated to the front lawn of a house where they had been invited by the homeowner to take refuge. After about 30-40 minutes, Thomas says more and more police arrived, which culminated in what Thomas described as an "ambush" by police, which can be seen in her video.

"We weren't swearing at the police, we weren't being aggressive, we were assembled peacefully. And the police came on this woman's private property after she gave us permission," Thomas asserts. She adds that the arrests appeared to have been done at random, and claims the police had been laughing at them both during and after the standoff. 

Once the arrests started, protesters spilled into the street. Some were able to run away, while others were arrested, reportedly for "obstructing a highway," according to the Daily Beast, which also noted:

The Daily Beast and several other media outlets were forced into a 10-foot wide zone by police. Then they ordered all reporters without credentials out of the zone and threatened to arrest any who put a foot in the street. Arianna Triggs, a production assistant for NBC 33, told The Daily Beast she was also threatened with arrest and forced to move.

On Saturday, at least three journalists were arrested, including a radio reporter with WWNO and a credentialed news director with WAFB.

The woman who allowed the protesters on her property (identified only as "Ms. Batiste") told CBS News' David Begnaud, "I'm very upset. I'm stunned at the behavior of the police officers," who she says "bombard[ed]" her house and tried to close the front door on her while she pleaded with them that she had given the protesters permission to be on her property.

The Baton Rouge PD would not comment to Reason when reached by phone, but Lt. Jonny Dunham of the Baton Rouge PD told Begnaud that by trying to get on the Interstate, "the protesters had already broken the law." Dunham added, "They felt like they could jump in her yard and be safe, but once you've broken the law, there's no safe space." 

Thus far, a number of politically diverse sources claim the Baton Rouge PD was antagonistic with both protesters and reporters, a position asserted by both Breitbart News reporter Lee Stranahan and Black Lives Matter organizer DeRay Mckesson, who apparently briefly shared a cell together in East Baton Rouge Parish Prison, along with upwards of 50 other men.

Following his arrest, Stranahan took to Twitter to write, "I can't stress this enough: not only do I believe my imprisonment was unconstitutional but I believe the other protesters was as well." On Sirius XM's Breitbart News Daily this morning, Stranahan described himself as a "strident supporter of law enforcement or critic of Black Lives Matter" and blamed the "unconstitutional" arrests on a systemic failure by the Democrat-run "power structure" of Baton Rouge and Louisiana for giving ineffectual or conflicting orders to the police.

Stranahan also said that said that during his 21 hours in detention, he spent a portion of it in the prison's general population. As noted by Politico:

And when I say prison, I mean prison. I was in a, I was detained for a couple of hours in a line of cells with people in general population," Stranahan said. "I talked to a guy who killed his wife, second-degree murder, killed his wife by stabbing her in the neck. And that's who I was in with. These were not the protesters — I was with the protesters most of the time, but then I was put in general population."

Mckesson and Stranahan might agree that their arrests were unconstitutional but unsurprisingly, they differ on who they hold responsible, with the former telling the New York Times, "The police want protesters to be too afraid to protest, which is why they intentionally created a context of conflict." Also from the Times:

Mr. Mckesson filmed his encounter with the police using the live-streaming app Periscope. On camera, he told viewers that there was no sidewalk where they were walking. An officer could be heard shouting, "You with them loud shoes, I see you in the road. If I get close to you, you're going to jail."

Protests are expected to continue today, with reports indicating that demonstators seek to block the Mississippi River Bridge. West Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff Mike Cazes told WBRZ-TV that 300 officers would be stationed near the bridge, "ready to move" if necessary.  

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  1. Then, Thomas says, a police MRAP showed up on the scene as officers threatened to deploy tear gas on the protesters if they did not disperse.

    Sounds like the perfect time to enact comprehensive, common-sense gun control.

    1. BLM claiming Private Property Rights?

      What?

  2. something… this shit… something… out of hand…

  3. “She says the protesters held a peaceful rally outside the state Capitol, then a portion of them attempted to march along the Interstate highway (a common Black Lives Matter tactic) but were blocked by the police and diverted to a city road.”

    What does blocking the interstate accomplish?

    1. Guaranteed television coverage

    2. Helps white people more fully understand Black problems?

      1. They do try to get hit by cars.

        1. *** raises fist in solidarity ***

    3. It is called civil disobedience. I would rather than to call attention to an issue rather then setting fire to small businesses.

      1. Are you in Room 237 of the hospital?

        1. Yes. A certain ward in particular.

      2. I’m not arguing against it, I just don’t know why it’s so in vogue now. I think you and Lee are probably right, they get attention but can still claim being peaceful (as opposed to burning storefronts).

      3. I would rather than to call attention to an issue rather then setting fire to small businesses.

        Fact: The only way to call attention to an issue is to block an interstate.

      4. That is nice of them not to set fire to small businesses. Hooray for small victories! That’s a lot better than the Tea Party. I understand from the media that they hanged and lynched thousands at their protests.

    4. They have blocked them in Houston and just pissed people off.

      However this sounds nuts.

      Since when is it illegal to walk on a city street?

      1. Its pretty much always been illegal to walk along a limited access right-of-way (highway).

      2. I got arrested for riding my bicycle on I-64. Might have been because of my blood alcohol level, to be fair.

      3. Honestly? As far back as I remember.

      4. Since when is it illegal to walk on a city street?

        I think (although I’m not 100% sure) that it’s illegal to walk (or ride a bicycle) on an Interstate highway. That’s what the Baton Rouge PD spokes-douche was claiming when he said “”the protesters had already broken the law.” What’s not clear from this post though is whether or not the protestors actually succeeded in getting on the Interstate in the first place:

        In a phone interview earlier today, Thomas told Reason that she traveled to Baton Rouge to be a part of “youth-led protests” meant to take a stand against “the atrocities happening in our own back yard.” She says the protesters held a peaceful rally outside the state Capitol, then a portion of them attempted to march along the Interstate highway (a common Black Lives Matter tactic) but were blocked by the police and diverted to a city road.

        This made it sound like they were blocked by the police and didn’t succeed in blocking the highway. If that’s the case, then can they still be arrested for blocking the highway? I guess so.

        1. Since they are moving en mass, defying lawful police orders, a prosecutor could charge them with conspiracy, a felony. And its still a conspiracy if its just to commit a misdemeanor!

      5. Since obstructing traffic became illegal?

      6. I’m just picturing Oprah now saying, “you get arrested for jaywalking and you get arrested for jaywalking and you get arrested for jaywalking….”

    5. Pissing off people who might otherwise have been more sympathetic?

    6. Is blocking highway traffic “peaceful assembly”?

      1. “Is blocking highway traffic “peaceful assembly”?”

        Maybe. I hear about speech being violent now so anything’s possible.

      2. No. It’s a form of false imprisonment.

        1. I’m inclined to agree.

    7. I-10 is the major southern link from Alabama to Texas. It runs about 75% capacity most of of he time, and there are few alternate routes, so blocking interstate would quickly tie up traffic along entire Gulf coast. Not the best strategy, especially after one cop supposedly got hit in the mouth with a rock and lost some teeth.

      That said, BR cops have had a serious thug factor for past 30 years and I suspect part of the reason for the riot shields was to hide the grins on their face and their lips saying “Make my day, punk”.

      Not a pretty sight, but it may help Ferguson’s reputation by comparison. I see we already have the iconic photo of the black lady in a dress getting arrested, aka “Lady in the Lion’s Den of BR”. You do have to give her credit for seizing the moment.

      When BLM and Breitbart both call foul on police actions, there is likely some truth.
      I did love the statement “once you’ve broken the law, there’s no safe space”, which sounded like the state motto.

      1. More like from Jacksonville, FL to Santa Monica, CA.

    8. Usually, they try to march *on* the interstate highway, not just along it.

  4. Protests are expected to continue today, with reports indicating that demonstators seek to block the Mississippi River Bridge.

    Next up: “Motorists chanting ‘This is public property’ run over bridge-blockers”

    1. That is not a pedestrian friendly bridge, aside from its enormous size and height the traffic is crazy on that thing.

  5. This article stretches my belief to imply that people who might have just violated the law and were fleeing can simply be invited to stay on someone’s property to avoid their situation.

    1. Yeah, be sure to look up “Ms. Batiste” when you’re in Baton Rouge.

    2. I think the point is that they weren’t violating the law in any meaningful way. They weren’t going to be arrested for attempting to walk on the interstate. They were being arrested for trumped up charges of trespassing on a public street.

      If retreating to a private yard did not satisfy the cops, then that suggests the real complaint was that the cops didn’t like what they had to say.

      1. Those are all assumptions on your part particularly when blocking highways has been an obvious tactic in other protests.

        It is also unreasonable in mas protests to expect the police to somehow examine everyone’s particular circumstance once they decided to be near or part of the protest.

        1. It is also unreasonable in mas[s] protests to expect the police to somehow examine everyone’s particular circumstance once they decided to be near or part of the protest.

          ahh… invoking the ‘FYTW’ exception to the fourth amendment. clever

      2. And suppose the cops see that they’re on private property, by invitation, are they supposed to assume that the rabble will remain there indefinitely? Are we supposed to assume they’ll just disperse in an orderly fashion after the cops leave? I’m actually conflicted here. On the one hand I hate the jackbooted thugs that pass for cops these days, on the other hand these BLM “protesters” are always a stone’s throw away from being rioters and looters and are generally a loathsome lot.

        1. On the one hand I hate the jackbooted thugs that pass for cops these days, on the other hand these BLM “protesters” are always a stone’s throw away from being rioters and looters and are generally a loathsome lot.

          Yet another case of case where there’s no good guys to root for here. Can we just nuke the entire Mississippi River delta from orbit? It’s the only way to be sure.

        2. And suppose the cops see that they’re on private property, by invitation, are they supposed to assume that the rabble will remain there indefinitely? Are we supposed to assume they’ll just disperse in an orderly fashion after the cops leave?

          Indeed, we are supposed to assume that people haven’t broken a law until they actually, you know, break a fucking law.

          1. I’m not defending the cops or the law as written. I’m not sure what necessarily counts as an unlawful assembly, but I’d certainly be doing my research upon noticing that my neighbor just invited a potentially riotous roaming mob into the yard next door to my house.

          2. Read the article. BLM had already broken several laws and were rioting. If they had pulled this where I live, an 18 wheeler would have removed a dozen at 85 mph.

    3. Several things wrong here:
      1. Assumes that the police were able to track every individual person who had been trying to bet onto the bridge back to this house – if they can’t, they cant say they were individually in hot pursuit.
      2. The Hot pursuit exceptions applies to presumed dangerous felons. At best, blocking the highway is a misdemeanor
      3. Lack of hot pursuit means that to come get you off of private property requires a warrant – which in turn requires the individualized suspicion mentioned above

      The cops had no business coming into her property unless they can show they had individual warrants for every person they arrested.

      HOWEVER – there’s really nothing they can do about it, either – the process is the punishment and the homeowner (not having been arrested) doesn’t have much chance in winning a civil suit

    4. It’s called sanctuary, mother f’er. Ms. Batiste is an ordained minister if that matters to ya. Fact check it, I dare ya.

      Ask yourself this; If the actual arresting officer is not arresting them in the prohibited area than how does that same officer know that person was ever in the actual forbidden area if they did not keep their eyes on them or would not be able to pick them out of a line-up. Did they all have uniquely and easily identifiable “loud shoes” or wide noses?

      1. It’s called sanctuary, mother f’er.

        As far as I know, “sanctuary” is irrelevant under American law.

        FreeToFear, on the other hand, points out when and why private property matters when it comes to arresting people.

      2. My brother was ordained as a minister online. I guess next time the cops are pursing me, I’ll run to his house and claim sanctuary. Then I’ll express my dumbfounded outrage when I inevitably get arrested anyways because being an ordained minister doesn’t confer national fucking sovereignty onto the ordained. Fact check it.

  6. If you wanted to escalate conflict at protests against the police, having the cops show up in full occupying army mode, complete with armored military vehicles, is an excellent way to do so.

    Cops in occupying army mode send a very clear message that this is not something that can be resolved peacefully, but will instead be resolved by the Penal State via forcible suppression of dissenting views.

    Your options are (a) submit and shut up, or (b) submit and shut up.

      1. Today that would just get you a rifle butt to the teeth.

    1. Well, if there wasn’t manufactured disorder, the riot police would be out of a job.

    2. “Shut up,” they explained.

      1. Seriously dude, voices carry.

    3. R C Dean
      “Your options are (a) submit and shut up, or (b) submit and shut up.”

      The consequences for failing to follow answers (a) or (b)?

      a) Get invited on a cop ride along, b) Obama awards you the Medal of Freedom, c) Die/suffer assault from your refusal to follow the Comply or Die Doctrine

  7. On Sirius XM’s Breitbart News Daily this morning, Stranahan described himself as a “strident supporter of law enforcement or critic of Black Lives Matter” and blamed the “unconstitutional” arrests on a systemic failure by the Democrat-run “power structure” of Baton Rouge and Louisiana for giving ineffectual or conflicting orders to the police.

    Not even a good nightsticking can shake some people’s narrative.

    1. Clearly police misconduct is not the fault of the police but the city council. Why do you hate law and order huh?

      1. The conduct of the police is absolutely the fault of the people who hire and pay them.

        This is the entirety of the problem with current protests. They intend to indict individual police as racists and departments for harboring racists, rather than addressing the institutional structures that create the problems.

        The killing of Kelly Thomas is a symptom of the same problems that caused the killings this week. Yet these protests seek to segregate them as different and unrelated. Any proposals that do not address these as a single problem are doomed to failure.

  8. That area is right by my old high school. It looks much whiter than I remember it from 25 years ago.

  9. How long till we get another Kent State?

    1. It won’t matter. “Just some BLM scum that got shot. They were probably all felons anyway.”

      1. Shoulda listened to instructions.

    2. I’ll give it less than a week.

    3. Hillary is probably hoping for another Kent State.

      That’s about the only thing that would cause swing voters to sympathize with rioters, and let’s face it, people associate race riots with Democrats.

      All Hillary needs is for Obama to come out and say, “If I had a son, he’d look just like one of these rioters”.

  10. “You with them loud shoes, I see you in the road. If I get close to you, you’re going to jail.”

    “Ah done told you to get yore dirt outa Boss Kean’s ditch, didn’t ah?”

    Some stereotypes are too good to buck.

  11. “Breitbart News’ Lee Stranahan among over 100 journalists and protesters arrested over the weekend.”

    Breitbart News is still in business?

    How did they ever survive the Michelle Fields resignation?!

    1. As long as there are still police dicks that need to be sucked, Breitbart will stay in business.

      1. Really?

        You mean the Michelle Fields resignation wasn’t such a big deal after all?

        Well what about Trump’s campaign staff acting like brown shirts?

        Wasn’t that on Taylor’s beat? I wonder if we’re done with that, now, too.

    2. It’s simple Ken, the Stormfront community migrated there.

      1. Oh is that it!

        Must be.

        ’cause I didn’t think anybody would be able to recover after the Michelle Fields resignation.

        It was just so devastating!!!

        I heard she stomped her feet on the way out the door and everything.

  12. RE: ? Baton Rouge Protesters Flee to Private Property, Militarized Police Chase Them Off and Arrest Many
    Black Lives Matter’s DeRay Mckesson and Breitbart News’ Lee Stranahan among over 100 journalists and protesters arrested over the weekend.

    One cannot but help applaud the police of Baton Rouge and their prudent act of arresting peaceful protestors. Our beloved socialist slave state cannot tolerate such peaceful displays of protest. Such actions would imply the unwashed masses in our beloved socialist slave state live in a country where government misdeeds are not only in question to the little people but are also not tolerated. Such activity demonstrates doubts amongst the little people as to the wisdom of repression and terror employed by The State. These two virtues of The State, repression and terror, have been a long staple of socialist nations for decades have produced wonderful results in keeping the peace, allowing the progressive slavers more leeway in controlling the untermenchen in their country and gently reminds the common riff-raff where their proper place in society stands through arrests, beatings and marching them off to the local gulags. These counter-revolutionaries should thank their thought police, their jailors, and other oppressors just how lucky they are to live in a free country.

    1. ‘Peaceful protestors’ don’t throw molotovs or bricks. This was no different than a lynch mob, trying to take the law into their own hands. Your line of ‘thinking’ is why federal civil rights laws were enacted.

  13. seems like neither side is doing a very good job of preventing violence. it is becoming its own self fulfilling proof that may not end before it gets worse. Keep yourselves aware of your surroundings if near any potential protest

  14. “once you’ve broken the law, there’s no safe space”

    Is that what BRPD have on the sides of their cruisers instead that “serve and protect” bullshit?

    1. “once you’ve broken the law, there’s no safe space”

      Indeed. And you’ll get rooted out of your safe space, once the cops get a warrant . . .

      Oh, who am I kidding.

  15. Years ago,I lived in Red Stick(Baton Rouge) LA. for a few months. Seems like it has changed a whole lot, the changes not being in the direction of improvement.

  16. Hey, these pigs are some smart dudes. This is the perfect way to help ease the sky high tension levels and anger at police. Wise wise choice by these “people”.

  17. Until a journalist asks Obama why he marched and shared a podium in ’07 with the New Black Panther Party after their call to kill cops, ‘black power groups’ will continue to act as if he gave them free rein to commit further terrorist activities (up to and including, God Forbid, political assassination).

  18. :slams head on desk:

    Fucking douchebag pigs want a war, don’t they? Did the deaths of those 5 cops in Dallas NOT prove anything? This is the exact WRONG thing to do and will only make shit worse.

  19. Wait a minute, being on private property means you can’t be arrested? Who knew?

  20. lmao. learn your place, serf.

    Loud, idealistic, and whiny is no way to go through life, girl. If you want to change the system, then effin change the system. No one gives a flying fart about your protest and frankly almost all just want the noisy disruption to stop. When you grow up, you will learn that power is obtained by one way and one way alone. The police demonstrated that with exceptional skill and self-awareness when they pummeled your hairy ass and dragged you off to jail. Quick…go get a lawyer and complain on Twitter. #dontbeatthepeacefulprotester

  21. Legal experts have suggested that if Congress has the power to require individuals to buy health care insurance, it may also mandate that Americans buy broccoli. Legal experts have suggested that if Congress has the power to require individuals to buy health care insurance, it may also mandate that Americans buy broccoli. Legal experts have suggested that if Congress has the power to require individuals to buy health care insurance, it may also mandate that Americans buy broccoli. – – – – – ????? ???????????? ???????

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