Baton Rouge, Louisiana - On May 27, almost 300 people gathered at the Louisiana State Capitol to protest the attacks on LGBTQ rights. The demonstrators then marched to Governor John Bel Edwards’ mansion and listened to several speakers. Protests like this are sweeping the nation as states move to pass anti-LGBTQ legislation. Many of the attendees and speakers were students and young people, who these reactionary bills directly attack. Protesters demanded that Edwards, a Democrat, veto all anti-LBGTQ legislation. They condemned bills such as “Don’t Say Gay” (HB 466), which would ban teachers from discussing gender identity and sexuality.
Paul Cleveland once showed up at his niece’s door with a pork roast because he was worried she had run out of groceries. He had an extra mobile home on his property, and would let near-strangers stay there till they got back on their feet. Cleveland was a U.S. Navy veteran—and according to his niece, Sherilyn Sabo, he wasn’t afraid of anybody. But when he called her from inside the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison, Cleveland told Sabo he didn’t think he would make it out alive. Cleveland had not been convicted of a crime—he was in jail (Louisiana refers to its local jails as “parish prisons”) because his family was unable to pay his $300,000 bail. When he died of a heart attack in 2014, Cleveland became the jail’s third fatality that year and its 14th since 2012.
By David Lohr for The Huffington Post - Alton Sterling’s frustrated family members and their supporters confronted Baton Rouge officials this week, demanding an update in the nearly 3-month-old investigation into the 37-year-old black man’s death. A police officer fatally shot Sterling near a convenience store where he sold CDs in July. The shooting sparked protests across the country against police misconduct.
By Robert Mackey for The Intercept - THE BATON ROUGE Police Department and state law enforcement officials were sued in federal court on Wednesday for violating the First Amendment rights of dozens of protesters detained at demonstrations in the city last weekend. The suit, which asks for a restraining order to prohibit officers from arresting or intimidating protesters rallying to express their anger at the killing of Alton Sterling, was filed by a coalition of rights groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union and the National Lawyers Guild.
By Kevin Gosztola for Shadow Proof - In the aftermath of the police killing of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, police officers clad in military gear attacked nonviolent protesters while brandishing automatic weapons. Armored vehicles, as well as chemical agents and a device designed to blast loud sound waves, were deployed. To bring these acts to a halt, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit against the Baton Rouge Police Department. As captured on video by store owner Abdullah Muflahi, on July 5, Sterling was selling CDs when officers tasered him and slammed him on the hood of a car.
By Terrance Heath for Moyers and Company - The horrors we witnessed in Baton Rouge, Minneapolis and Dallas are rooted in racism that has haunted our families for generations, and is perhaps at its deadliest when embodied in law enforcement and embedded in our communities. As I took my oldest son to summer camp on Thursday morning, we rode in uneasy silence, listening to the news of Philando Castile’s death by cop in Falcon Heights, Minnesota, outside of the Twin Cities.
By Staff of Ebony - Louisiana state police and Baton Rouge law enforcement officials are being sued by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and four other social justice groups for violating the constitutional rights of protesters over the past week. "This exercise of constitutional rights has been met with a military-grade assault on protesters' bodies and rights," reads the lawsuit filed by the ACLU.