Louisiana ACLU says BRPD used excessive force and unnecessary militarized tactics at protests
Posted on 7/11/2016 1:54:00 PM.
Michelle Southern reporting.
The ACLU of Louisiana says the Baton Rouge Police Department used illegal and excessive force on protesters this weekend. People have for days been in Baton Rouge marching over what they believe was the wrongful cop killing of Alton Sterling.

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.

Most of the arrests made were of people from out of town, and the charges stem from obstructing roadways. 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."

EBR DA Hillar Moore says they are going to investigate every case closely.

"Anybody that's been arrested, give us your input," said Moore. "Please give us what you have and we'll take a look at everything."

There are those who claim many of the protesters arrested Sunday were on private property, but BRPD says those cases were of people who had already broken the law by trying to block the interstate. Moore says, while the cases are still under investigation, once a law has been broken it's been broken.

"On police going onto private property, obviously if they saw a crime being committed they can follow that person. Not inside the house depending on the charge."

baton rouge police department, alton sterling, marjorie esman, louisiana ACLU,

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