UPDATE #2: And here it comes…
UPDATE: 10 AM has come and gone, and all’s quiet in Baton Rouge so far.
On one hand, this is a good thing. After what happened last night in New Orleans, nobody should be too excited about importing the monument controversy to Baton Rouge with the same players taking sides on the Alton Sterling matter. Maybe the Justice Department should wait until tomorrow, when the weather forecast calls for heavy rain, to drop the Sterling announcement.
On the other hand, this should be already done. It needs to be over, so Baton Rouge can move past it – at least until someone else engaged in stupid behavior gets himself shot by the police and the whole process starts up again. There appears to be a dearth of leadership in the Justice Department for failing to have disposed of the Sterling case by now.
ORIGINAL: Perhaps out of an abundance of caution, and perhaps thanks to some intelligence suggesting there could be problems afoot, several law enforcement agencies and other public sector bodies are now ramping up preparations for what could be an “eventful” day in Baton Rouge as a decision is made on consequences from the Alton Sterling shooting back in July of last year.
There is the criminal case of the “Big Money Block Boyz,” a drug gang which for years has terrorized the impoverished Gardere neighborhood in southwest Baton Rouge, which was postponed for a week due to the Sterling decision expected tomorrow.
Several black leaders in Baton Rouge, and Rep. Cedric Richmond, who represents parts of Baton Rouge as well as New Orleans, have complained that the Justice Department hasn’t released a timeline on an announcement.
A contact of ours who is a VIP customer at a Baton Rouge gun shop informed us that the gun shop in question was told by the Baton Rouge Police Department that it was “stretched thin tomorrow” and that BRPD intel had it that the gun shop could be a target for looting. We laughed a bit at that – this place might be the single best location in town from whence a militia could be raised to dispense with looters.
But then there’s this, from a contact at Southern University where the campus police department is trying to gear up for what might come…
From: JOYCELYN JOHNSON
Sent: Saturday, April 29, 2017 3:48 PM
Subject: Week of testing/ Alton Sterling Decision
I have measures in place that will assist in assuring the safety and security of the students, faculty and staff of SUBR on next week,if the decision is rendered in the Alton Sterling case. Please see below:
- Chief Johnson along with Kevin Johnson went to J B Moore Hall to test equipment and conduct an assessment of what is needed. All equipment was working properly with exception that there is not a cable tv drop in the room. Terrance stated that he will run a cable in the event we setup the command post.
- I called MOHSEP and requested that we send an Officer the that command post to communicate with me directly at all times. I will have 2 Officers assigned to MOHSEP to assure we have someone there 24 hours.
- I met with the supervisors of the SUPD. All Officers will be working between 12-16 hours everyday starting Monday to assure that we have enough coverage throughout next week.
- In the event that we feel that we need to secure the campus to one way in-one way out earlier than our normal time of 6:30pm , we will advise Mr. Pugh and also you on this decision. We will send a message out on the JAGS SAFE APP to advise everyone of the time change after the said conversations.
- In our weekly safety tip for Monday we will stress the general safety tips that we have been sending on staying safe off campus.
- Security for the SU Law Center and SULAB School has been arranged.
Please advise, if there is anything that I may have missed or that you have a concern about.
I was advised that I would be notified within a certain time frame before the announcement to give law enforcement time to get prepared. As soon as I am notified, I will advise.
Jocelyn Johnson, who runs the campus police at Southern, didn’t say that the Sterling decision would come down on Tuesday. This is a point of some contention, because on Friday evening Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome expressed irritation with respect to the fact many in the local media were pointing to a Tuesday release of the Justice Department’s dispensation of the Sterling case – which virtually everyone expects will include an exoneration, at least with respect to criminal charges, of BRPD officers Blaine Salamoni and Howie Lake II in Sterling’s death.
Since it appears as thought tomorrow will in fact be the date of the Sterling decision – our sources tell us it will come down at 10 AM – there are bound to be questions asked of Broome based on her denial. What purpose was served by that? The protester side of the Sterling decision has known since last week that Tuesday would be the day; if Broome knew on Friday that it was coming on Tuesday, what would the point be of denying it? Who was she trying to keep in the dark?
That might be a question for another day. Here’s hoping that whatever reaction there might be doesn’t elevate the Sterling case into another manifestation of violence. We pray that no one tries to block an interstate, no stores are looted, property or persons destroyed and no permanent damage done to anyone going forward. Peaceful protest, even if misguided, is fine.