A peaceful rally supporting the #BlackLivesMatter campaign in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, has resulted in the arrests of over 200 protesters and journalists.
At least 120 were arrested in Baton Rouge at the rally on 9 July, and over 100 detained in St. Paul, Minnesota, including Deray McKesson, a prominent #BlackLivesMatter activist.
The night of tension and unrest was sparked by the recent fatal shootings of Alton Sterling in the Louisiana city and of Philando Castile in Falcon Heights, a suburban town of Minnesota. These deaths add to the frighteningly high death tolls in America this year.
The protests, which brought over a thousand people together in solidarity, began on Saturday 9 July. The event held demands for accountability from police and stretched into the early hours of Sunday morning.
McKesson, 31, a key figure within the #BlackLivesMatter movement was charged with obstructing a highway of commerce.
In a phone interview with The Post after his release, McKesson said the charges against him have not been dropped.
“The protesters were peaceful last night, the police were not”, he said. “I came to stand in solidarity with the people who stood in solidarity with us.
“I was with local activists when I was arrested yesterday”, he said. “I was in compliance with the law, and I am confident that this was an unlawful arrest”.
A prison official has said that bonds for the demonstrators that were arrested at the rally were between $250 to $400.