Civil rights activist and Baltimore public schools official DeRay McKesson was among over 100 arrested Saturday in Baton Rouge during demonstrations protesting the July 5 shooting death of Alton Sterling by Baton Rouge police.
McKesson is a leading member of the Black Lives Matter movement.
According to Baton Rouge officials, McKesson ignored a police officer’s order to clear the roadway and was charged with simple obstruction of a highway of commerce. Released on his own recognizance late Sunday afternoon, McKesson said in a phone interview he found his arrest to be unlawful and arrests of peaceful protesters Saturday evening were unfair.
Police recovered eight weapons from protesters and one police officer was injured when hit with a projectile.
Rejoining protesters after his release at the Triple S convenience store, the site of Mr. Sterling’s death on July 5, McKesson said:
“The police want protesters to be too afraid to protest, which is why they intentionally created a context of conflict, and I’ll never be afraid to tell the truth. What we saw in Baton Rouge was a police department that chose to provoke protesters to create, like, a context of conflict they could exploit.”
[Politico] [Photo courtesy Esquire]