Tensions in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, continued to rise on Sunday (10 July) as police officers attempted to disband hundreds of demonstrators protesting the killings of black men by police. Around 100 officers in riot gear took to the streets, arresting protesters and journalists alike.
The peaceful protests followed a night of demonstrations that ended with about 100 arrests. Among those were at least three journalists, including a news director with WAFB and a reporter for WWNO. Prominent Black Lives Matter activists DeRay Mckesson was also arrested on Saturday (9 July).
One of the reporters arrested on Saturday was Lee Stranahan, lead investigative reporter for Breitbart. In a series of Tweets, Stranahan shared footage of the protests and the seconds before an officer charges at him and arrests him. Stranahan, who spent nearly a day in prison, tweeted: "I can't stress this enough: not only do I believe my imprisonment was unconstitutional but I believe the other protesters was as well."
Stranahan was charged with obstruction of a highway, Breitbart reported.
Zack Kopplin, a freelance reporter working for The Daily Beast, reported police charged the crowd of peaceful protesters nearly two hours after the demonstrations began on Sunday. Kopplin reported riot police pushed protesters further and further away, arresting those in front as they went.
Protesters who were on the yard of a Baton Rouge home owner were also arrested. The unnamed home owner said she had given protesters permission to be on her lawn.
Baton Rouge Police also threatened to arrests all journalists without credentials, Kopplin reported. The Daily Beast, along with several other media outlets, were forced into a 10-foot wide zone by police. Reporters without credentials were ordered out of the zone and all reporters were threatened with arrest if they stepped in the street.
Another reporter, Arianna Triggs, a production assistant for NBC 33, told Kopplin she was also threatened with arrest and ordered to move.
Protests continued into Sunday night in Baton Rouge and in several other cities, including Washington DC. As of Sunday night, at least 48 people had been arrested in Baton Rouge, the East Baton Rouge Sheriff's office said.