Baton Rouge Settles Case With Black Lives Matter Protesters
In response to the killing of Alton Sterling on July 5, 2016, Black Lives Matter protesters gathered in the streets of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Police arrested 92 protesters. East Baton Rouge District Attorney Hillar Moore III said his office would not prosecute the protesters. However, those arrested incurred bond, administrative fees and court costs in order to be released. To have those arrests expunged requires more money.
Activist DeRay McKesson was among those arrested.
A federal class-action lawsuit was filed alleging that the militarized police were aggressive in their response to protesters and used “unconstitutional tactics” to infringe upon the protesters’ First Amendment rights to freedom of speech and assembly. Fewer than 10 percent of the protesters in the class-action lawsuit were from out of town.
On Tuesday, the Baton Rouge Metro Council approved a settlement to pay the Plaintiff’s $100,000. Four agencies are participating in paying the settlement. The city government, the District Attorney’s Office, Louisiana State Police and East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office will each pay no more than $25,000 under the agreement.
Parish attorney Lea Anne Baston told the Advocate that the price is much smaller than what the city would pay to litigate and if just one of the 92 Plaintiff’s proved they were wrongfully arrested.
In the following video, Deray is interviewed by MSNBC shortly after he was released from jail in July 2016. He addresses criticism of the Black Lives Matter movement and what causes the movement to exist.