Baton Rouge police arrested prominent Black Lives Matter activist, DeRay McKesson Saturday (July 9) during a peaceful protest along Airline Highway in Louisiana. DeRay, and other protesters who were live streaming the march, captured his arrest on Periscope.
“If anything happens tonight, it was caused by the police. Everybody has been peaceful tonight but them. #BatonRouge,” DeRay tweeted from his official Twitter account. The vocal activist on social media joined hundreds of protesters in Baton Rouge to march against the recent acts of police brutality in the wake of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile’s deaths. DeRay live tweeted noting certain police officers and members of the SWAT team provoked violence the entire night. Many videos taken from the protest show policemen in riot gear.
DeRay was walking along the shoulder of of the main road, when he passed a Baton Rouge police station. One office reportedly “flagged” him down, and warned him that if he was seen in the street again, he would end up in jail, according to USA Today.
“Watch the police,” he said in a video. “They are literally just provoking people.” Moments later, the camera shakes, and an officer is heard saying, “You’re under arrest, don’t fight me.” He appears to be brought to the ground as fellow demonstrators question the officer’s motives. DeRay was soon taken into custody, along with several others.
The hashtag, #freederay began circulating on social media since his arrest, but there is little word on if or when he will be released. “The officers won’t give their names,” Brittany Packnett, one of Mckesson’s co-founders of the activist group Campaign Zero, told the Washington Post. “He was clearly targeted.”
— Alex Medina (@mrmedina) July 10, 2016
News of DeRay’s arrest comes just one day after his 31st birthday.