The focus of the protests last night was the corner of Airline Highway and Goodwood Boulevard, which is the site of the Baton Rouge Police Department’s headquarters. That site had been the venue for an impromptu and somewhat disorganized protest on Friday, but it had been scheduled as the location for a demonstration yesterday.
And apparently a venue to pass out communist propaganda leaflets…
…but we digress.
For the most part, the protest was peaceful. But it didn’t quite stay that way. A couple of eyewitness accounts…
What apparently happened was that the protesters decided to move away from BRPD headquarters and down Airline Highway to where it intersects with I-12. For the folks not familiar with Baton Rouge geography, here’s the lay of the land…
And when the protesters got to the I-12 interchange, the police started making lots of arrests for folks being in the roadway. It was no longer fun and games once they threatened to do this – which KRON-TV in San Francisco captured last week.
Trying to shut down an interstate highway is essentially attempted negligent homicide, because there is every likelihood you’re going to cause a fatal accident.
It turns out that there isn’t much of a shoulder, and no sidewalk at all, along Airline Highway. So it would be hard not to be in the roadway if you’re in a large group of people marching down the road toward the interstate. And if the cops have decided they’re going to enforce the law pretty strictly in an effort to keep people from getting to I-12 to block it, they’re going to be able to catch a lot of folks who’ve stepped into the roadway.
And the Black Lives Matter agitator Deray McKesson, who just last week wrangled himself a cushy $165,000-a-year job doing community organizing in the Baltimore public schools, was walking down Airline Highway and had stepped into the roadway when he was arrested.
Interestingly, Breitbart News reporter Lee Stranahan also was arrested last night for having stepped into the roadway while covering the protesters. If the police were going to arrest the protesters for being in the road, they couldn’t exactly exempt the journalists.
Almost everybody listed in the 2:30 a.m. booking sheet from East Baton Rouge Parish Prison was brought in for violating Section 14:97 of the Louisiana Criminal Code, which reads as follows…
§97. Simple obstruction of a highway of commerce
Simple obstruction of a highway of commerce is the intentional or criminally negligent placing of anything or performance of any act on any railway, railroad, navigable waterway, road, highway, thoroughfare, or runway of an airport, which will render movement thereon more difficult.
Whoever commits the crime of simple obstruction of a highway of commerce shall be fined not more than two hundred dollars, or imprisoned for not more than six months, or both.
Some of them had other charges, like inciting to riot – Harold Maze of Franklin, LA, Joshua Banks of Houston, TX, and Nicole Smith and Bono Kollie of Baton Rouge were hit with that one. Jessica Provenzano from Slidell had a marijuana possession charge in addition to being arrested for standing in the roadway. Several were charged with resisting arrest, and a number were also fugitives – which could just mean they had bench warrants for traffic tickets and so forth.
But it was when the protesters decided they were going to try the stunt Black Lives Matter has pulled in Oakland and other places, marching down Airline Highway to I-12 in an effort at shutting down an interstate highway, that the arrests happened in large numbers.