72 Hellish Hours of Protest, Riot Police and Mass Arrests

By By Sameer Rao With Additional Reporting by Akiba Solomon Jul 11, 2016

In anger and grief over the police killings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile—and graphic videos of Sterling being fatally shot and Castile dying—thousands protested around the country this weekend under the banner of the Black Lives Matter movement.  

In Baton Rouge, where Officer Blane Salamoni fatally shot Sterling as he and Officer Howie Lake II pinned the 37-year-old to the ground, protests produced the above photo. The New York Daily News identified the woman in the Reuters photo, which went viral, as Ieshia L. Evans, a practicing nurse. Evans was one of nearly 100 people arrested Saturday (July 9) and released on Sunday. Among those arrested was Campaign Zero’s DeRay Mckesson.  Arthur "Silky Slim" Reed, a Baton Rouge rapper and organizer whose cop-watch group, Stop the Killing, captured and distributed the horrific cell phone video of Sterling’s last moments. Reed was arrested early Saturday morning released at 3 a.m. today. 

In a nighttime video posted by a teenage Twitter user* on Saturday, a young Black woman stands in a Baton Rouge roadway instructing protestors when riot police walk up to her and grab her without saying anything. "Oh my God," she says, startled. Two or three more officers come up behind her, and, surrounded, she is handcuffed. We have not yet learned the woman’s name or what happened to her afterwards.

On Sunday evening a phalanx of police—some with submachine guns, wearing black riot gear or Army green fatigues, gas masks and helmets—pushed into a largely young, White group of protesters who were standing in a residential roadway chanting, "You are the only ones armed in this crowd. Put the guns down."

On "CBS This Morning," correspondent David Begnaud said police sources told him that the demonstrators, "most from out of town," were on their way to blocking an interstate highway and had thrown bottles at them.

Begnaud reported that after an hour of telling protestors to move, police drove a black armored vehicle into the crowd. Officers on foot grabbed people and knocked some down in the melee. A Black homeowner on the block, Lisa Batiste, offered demonstrators sanctuary on her front yard, yelling, "This is private property!" But police pushed protestors onto her porch. 

"I was appalled. I was stunned. I couldn’t believe what they were doing," Batiste told CBS News’ Begnaud. "They actually swept the yard, came onto the porch, and I said, ‘This is my home; I don’t want you here. Please get out of my home.’ …It was wrong, it was not their right to do so, and I’m not OK with it." Some 50 people were arrested during the melee.

In Saint Paul, near where officer Jeronimo Yanez shot Philando Castile to death, faced off with police while blocking the I-94 highway. According to the Star Tribune, around 100 people faced arrest after a confrontation that left 21 police officers injured. A police spokesperson described some protesters throwing bricks and bottles at officers. 

Actions in Los AngelesMiami and Atlanta similarly shut down major highways. Protests in Philadelphia entered their sixth consecutive day today (July 11) after ones this weekend outside of City Hall and at least one police precinct. Nearly 42 protesters in New York City were arrested during an action that blocked the busy Times Square. 

Were you a part of a protest this weekend? Post video with who, what, when and where it was shot in the comments!

*Colorlines was unable to obtain permission to link to or embed the tweet of a minor by press time.