Black Lives Matter Activist Sues Baton Rouge Over Arrest
DeRay Mckesson says the police were 'militarized and aggressive'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 4, 2016 5:22 PM CDT
Police arrest activist DeRay Mckesson during a protest July 9 in Baton Rouge.   (AP Photo/Max Becherer)

(Newser) – Black Lives Matter activist DeRay Mckesson sued the city of Baton Rouge and police officials on Thursday, saying officers responded in a "militarized and aggressive manner" in arresting him and other people protesting the police shooting death of Alton Sterling, the AP reports. The federal class-action lawsuit, which names two other arrested protesters as plaintiffs, accuses police of using excessive force and violating the protesters' constitutional rights. The suit said police advanced against protesters while wearing military gear and gas masks and brandishing assault weapons alongside armored vehicles. Officers threatened peaceful protesters by pointing their weapons directly at them, the suit said.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards has defended the police response to the protests, saying their use of riot gear and weaponry was appropriate. Mckesson was arrested July 9 near Baton Rouge police headquarters on a charge of obstructing a highway. East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney Hillar Moore has said Mckesson is one of roughly 100 arrested protesters who will not be prosecuted by his office for the same charge. But the lawsuit said Mckesson and other arrested protesters had to pay administrative and court fees to be released from jail and will have to pay more to have their arrest records expunged.
 

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