Lee Stranahan of the right-wing website Breitbart was arrested Saturday night while covering a protest against police abuses in Baton Rouge. As my colleague Anthony Fisher noted on Monday, Stranahan—a writer not generally predisposed to side with protesters—subsequently declared on Twitter that he "not only [believes] my imprisonment was unconstitutional but I believe the other protesters['] was as well."
Now Stranahan has published a nearly 3,500-word account of his detention. While it's safe to say that he hasn't been converted to the Black Lives Matter cause, he also writes without malice about the people he was detained with:
We had a lot of time to kill, and I had some great conversations. I quickly learned that the issue here in Baton Rouge for these people was not ideologically driven. Over and over, they told me the issue was not about Democrat or Republican but about the way law enforcement handles things in both Baton Rouge and the state of Louisiana in general, which has one of the largest incarceration rates in Western civilization. These protesters did not have the agenda of overthrowing capitalism that many of the top leaders of Black Lives Matter have; they want police abuse to end, and they see the Alton Sterling case as emblematic of that problem.
I was open with everyone about what I did for a living and that I work for a conservative website, as well as being a Republican. I encountered no hostility whatsoever for those beliefs, although I did get some genuine curiosity, particularly from some of the younger black m[e]n who had never really had a conversation with a Republican.
I'm pretty sure this is the first time any article in Breitbart has included the phrase "thank God for the National Lawyers Guild"—that being the leftist organization that eventually got the group out of jail. "Do I wish there was a conservative, pro-liberty legal group out there that I could've called?" Stranahan writes. "You're darn right I do, but there was no such group involved in what was going on in Baton Rouge."