ACLU Leader Says Excessive Force Is Used By Police in Baton Rouge
The ACLU of Louisiana says the Baton Rouge Police Department used illegal and excessive force on protesters over the weekend. Residents and others from out of town have been in the Capitol City marching over what they believe was the wrongful cop killing of Alton Sterling.
Louisiana ACLU Executive Director Marjorie Esman says the use of violent, militarized tactics during a peaceful gathering was not necessary. "Police turned out in riot gear to prepare for a problem that was not happening," said Esman.
The majority of the people arrested were from out of town and the bulk of the charges have to do with obstructing traffic. Esman says treating a peaceful public as though they are going to start a riot does not help improve relations that are already strained.
"It did a lot to further damage the trust between the police and the community," said Esman. "At a time when that relationship needs to be repaired."
Hillar Moore, the DA in Baton Rouge says his office will thoroughly investigate each case.
More than 150 people were arrested over the weekend, including reporters from NPR, Breithbart and WAFB TV in Baton Rouge.