Around 200 people were ultimately arrested.
“Alton Sterling is on the long list of Black people killed needlessly by our nation’s police, and protests in his honor have turned into circuses of violence where the First Amendment is tossed aside.”
—Marjorie Esman, ACLU of Louisiana”I witnessed firsthand as peaceful protestors were violently attacked and arrested, assault weapons pointed at them with fingers on the triggers, some dragged across the cement, their clothes ripped off of them,” said Alison Renee McCrary, president of the Louisiana chapter of the National Lawyers Guild and a Catholic nun.
“What I saw happening was an immediate threat to life,” McCrary said. “My and other demonstrators’ speech was chilled because of this event.”
Lawyers for the rights groups filed a temporary restraining order against the police “to prevent them from interfering with people’s constitutionally protected right to gather peacefully moving forward,” the ACLU reports.
ACLU of Louisiana executive director Marjorie Esman argued: “The police didn’t do their job in Baton Rouge, again. They are bound to protect us from harm, to keep us safe, to do everything possible before throwing someone to the ground or pulling the trigger. Yet Alton Sterling is on the long list of Black people killed needlessly by our nation’s police, and protests in his honor have turned into circuses of violence where the First Amendment is tossed aside.”
“We can’t bring Alton Sterling back but at minimum, the police can stop blocking our right to protest in his name,” Esman said.
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