Tags: deray mckesson | black lives matter | activist | arrested | baton rouge

DeRay McKesson, Black Lives Matter Activist, Arrested at Protest

Image: DeRay McKesson, Black Lives Matter Activist, Arrested at Protest
Police officers arrest activist DeRay McKesson during a protest along Airline Highway, a major road that passes in front of the Baton Rouge Police Department headquarters Saturday, July 9, 2016, in Baton Rouge, La. (AP Photo/Max Becherer)

By    |   Monday, 11 Jul 2016 02:52 PM

DeRay McKesson, a prominent Black Lives Matter activist, was arrested along with about 200 other people during protests over the weekend.

McKesson was among about 120 people arrested in Baton Rouge, where local man Alton Sterling was recently killed by police, and about 100 others were arrested in Minnesota, where an officer killed local man Philando Castile, The Washington Post reported.

Those deaths, followed by the sniper killings of five police officers in Dallas, have heightened tension between police and activists, leaving the country "sitting on a powder keg," former police chief Charles Ramsey told the Post.

McKesson, who was charged with obstructing a highway, called his arrest unlawful. He was released on Sunday.

"The protesters were peaceful last night, the police were not," he told the Post. "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. I was in compliance with the law, and I am confident that this was an unlawful arrest."

McKesson spent 16 hours in jail, according to The New York Times.

"The police want protesters to be too afraid to protest, which is why they intentionally created a context of conflict, and I’ll never be afraid to tell the truth," he told the Times. "What we saw in Baton Rouge was a police department that chose to provoke protesters to create, like, a context of conflict they could exploit."

Law enforcement officials defended the arrests of people who stepped onto the highway against police commands, saying the highway needed to remain open.

"We certainly respect the right people have to gather peacefully, to protest peacefully and we’re going to protect that right," said Sheriff Sid J. Gautreaux III of East Baton Rouge Parish. "At the same time we’re not going to tolerate any violence, we’re not going to tolerate any lawlessness, we’re not going to tolerate any destruction of property."

McKesson live-streamed his arrest on Periscope, according to NBC News.

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DeRay McKesson, a prominent Black Lives Matter activist, was arrested along with about 200 other people during protests over the weekend.
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Monday, 11 Jul 2016 02:52 PM
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