BATON ROUGE, Louisiana (AP) — The Latest on protests in Louisiana over the shooting death of Alton Sterling in a struggle Tuesday with two Baton Rouge police officers (all times local):
A Louisiana civil rights group is criticizing law enforcement officers over their treatment of protesters.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana said Monday that Baton Rouge police “used violent, militarized tactics on groups of people who have gathered peacefully in protest of Alton Sterling’s killing.”
On Sunday, Amnesty International questioned the high number of arrests during Saturday’s protests and whether it was a “proportionate response to peaceful protests.”
Sterling, a 37-year-old black man, was killed Tuesday by two white police officers. His death as well as the video recordings of it captured by bystanders have sparked days of protests.
Authorities have arrested about 200 people so far over three days of demonstrations.
At times police have used riot gear and military-style vehicles in demonstrations.
Louisiana’s attorney general says he won’t have access to the federal investigation on the Alton Sterling shooting until it’s completed and a decision has been made on potential federal charges.
Attorney General Jeff Landry’s statement came minutes after the district attorney in the parish were Sterling died announced that he was recusing himself from the case.
Landry said his department has been advised by the U.S. Attorney’s Office that “we will not have access to the ongoing and extensive federal investigation being conducted.”
He said his office looks forward to “…fulfilling our responsibilities upon completion of the investigation and receipt of the complete investigative materials.”
The Department of Justice has opened a federal civil rights investigation into Sterling’s death. But any decision on whether to pursue other charges such as murder or negligent homicide or assault would generally come from the state.
Baton Rouge’s top prosecutor says his office hasn’t made any decisions on charges against protesters who were arrested over the weekend in demonstrations against killings by police.
East Baton Rouge District Attorney Hillar C. Moore III said Monday at a news conference that those decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis. Police made nearly 200 arrests over the weekend in Baton Rouge.
Moore also said that he’s recusing himself from any state criminal investigation into the shooting death of Alton Sterling, a black man, at the hands of two white police officers. He cited his professional relationship with the parents of one of the officers, Blane Salamoni. Salamoni’s parents have both worked for Baton Rouge police, and Moore says they’ve interacted directly and worked on hundreds of cases in common.
New Orleans residents account for nearly half of the 50 people who were arrested Sunday in Baton Rouge at protests over deadly police shootings.
A list released Monday by the East Baton Rouge Parish Sherriff’s office shows that 38 of the 50 people arrested at protests that began Sunday are from Louisiana. Twenty-two of them are New Orleans residents, while seven are from Baton Rouge.
A Baton Rouge police spokesman, Sgt. Don Coppola, has said that protests have become more violent as protesters from other cities arrived in Baton Rouge.
More than 180 people have been arrested at protests in Louisiana since the July 5 fatal shooting of Alton Sterling, a 37-year-old black man, during a struggle with two white Baton Rouge police officers.
Most of Sunday’s arrests took place near downtown Baton Rouge, where police said they stopped a group of protesters from walking onto Interstate 110.
Authorities made more than 160 arrests in Louisiana’s capital during a long hot weekend of protests over killings by police, with only one reported injury among the ranks when an officer was hit by a projectile.
Police in riot gear kept protesters from entering Interstate 110 in Baton Rouge on Sunday, thwarting a tactic activists have attempted around in the country in the aftermath of the killings of Alton Sterling in Louisiana and Philando Castile in Minnesota.
More than a thousand demonstrators left a Black Lives Matter rally in Memphis, Tennessee, and occupied a Mississippi River bridge Sunday night, temporarily halting traffic on Interstate 40. Hundreds walked onto I-264 in Portsmouth, Virginia, marooning motorists for hours.
Demonstrators failed to block highways in Atlanta, and in San Francisco in recent days.