DeRay McKesson has officially been released from jail after he was arrested during a peaceful protest on Saturday evening (July 9) in Baton Rouge, La.
According to The New York Times, McKesson, 31, was one of over 200 arrested in Baton Rouge and St. Paul who marched on behalf of Alton Sterling. Three journalists were also jailed last night while documenting the march. McKesson’s arrest was seen on his Periscope account where he streamed the protest for followers.
Around 11:15 p.m, McKesson was confronted by a police officer who claimed he stepped over a reported line that separated protestors from the road. While his stream shows the activist within the confined lines, a police officer is heard saying, “You with them loud shoes, I see you in the road. If I get close to you, you’re going to jail.”
The activist was charged with simple obstruction of a highway of commerce. After 17 hours in custody, he was released around 3:30 p.m. on Sunday (July 10). Lawyers are currently working on the release of 100 other protestors.
— Johnetta Elzie (@Nettaaaaaaaa) July 10, 2016
The Louisiana National Lawyers Guild, raised money to bail McKesson and the rest of the protestors who were unlawfully arrested. A Louisiana State Police spokesman told police they welcomed the presence of protestors, but defended the arrest of McKesson. “Well, they’re clearly blocking the roadway,” they said. “We welcome the protests. We want them to voice their opinions. That’s what we’re here to do, to make sure they’re safe and they’re able to do that.”
— Maya Lau (@mayalau) July 10, 2016
After his release, McKesson told reporters he was deeply disappointed with the treatment of protestors by the Baton Rouge Police Department.
— Brandon Jinx Jenkins (@Jersey_Jinx) July 10, 2016