News for Monday 071716
By Dave Graichen
A small, peaceful rally was held Sunday afternoon in downtown Alexandria. The organizers say the held the rally as a call for unity and justice in light of recent officer-related shootings around the country. City and Parish officials organized throughout the day to insure the planned rally did not get out of control. In the end, it’s believed the afternoon thunderstorms kept the crowds away.
A prominent Black Lives Matter activist and 100 other people were taken into custody, Saturday In Baton Rouge after protesters took to the streets to call for justice and voice anger over the fatal shooting of an Alton Sterling by two white police officers. Some 30 people were arrested on Friday.
Gov. John Bel Edwards said Sunday he is proud of law enforcement's response to demonstrations in the wake of Alton Sterling's death in Baton Rouge and thanked community members who remained peaceful during the majority of the protests. But Edwards characterized the 130 or so arrests in the demonstrations as a low number and emphasized there have been relatively few injuries to officers and protesters. Governor Edwards is asking that the public give the Department of Justice time to conduct its investigation into Sterling’s shooting.
A march from Wesley United Methodist Church to the State Capitol Sunday protesting the death of Alton Sterling at the hands of Baton Rouge police went from peaceful to confrontational when protesters decided to continue walking on Government Street to the Police Department’s Headquarters. At least 12 people were arrested. The march was initiated by the NAACP of LSU and other young activist groups.
State Police Col Mike Edmonson says police have been investigating riot threats that have been made on social media and asks the public to be on the lookout for suspicious activity. He says they are working on race relations between law enforcement and the public. He says in order for people to respect authorities, they have to be able to trust them. He says that starts with transparency and communication.
The recent acts of violence across the country have many people asking what can be done to improve race relations in a country that seems more and more divided. LSU associate sociology professor Dr. Lori Martin says resolving the problem starts with acknowledging that there is one. She says what we need is an open and honest dialogue about racial issues.
Martin says racial problems are real, and they have real consequences because tragedies like the Dallas attack are occurring far too often.
A St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s deputy is donating his kidney today to a brother in blue from a neighboring parish. St. Tammany Deputy Robert Ardeneaux is scheduled to have the surgery today to donate his kidney to Jason Triche, a St. John the Baptist Parish Deputy whose kidneys are failing due to health problems from a 2012 shooting. Triche was injured in a shooting that took the lives of two officers.