Protests in Baton Rouge Calm After Busy Weekend

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

 

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — The Latest on protests in Louisiana over the shooting death of Alton Sterling in a struggle Tuesday with two Baton Rouge police officers (all times local):

11:15 p.m.

Protests in Baton Rouge were low-key on Monday night following a tumultuous weekend marked by arrests and standoffs between protesters and police in riot gear.

Protesters gathered in front of the convenience store where 37-year-old Alton Sterling was fatally shot by police on July 5, sparking days of protests.

Outside the store, members of the Nation of Islam renewed calls for boycotts of businesses. Protesters have targeted a boycott of the Mall of Louisiana, a large mall in Baton Rouge.

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8:30 p.m.

The owner of a convenience store where a Louisiana man was shot and killed by police is suing Baton Rouge police, alleging officers illegally detained him for about six hours after he recorded the confrontation on his cellphone.

The video shot by Abdullah Muflahi, the owner of Triple S Food Mart, sparked a wave of anger over the arrest and killing of Alton Sterling, a 37-year-old man who Muflahi allowed to sell CDs in front of his store.

Muflahi filed suit in state court Monday.

In the suit, he alleges police illegally seized his store's surveillance video equipment without a warrant. The suit also alleges that officers illegally seized his cellphone and did not allow him to call his family or lawyer. The suit says he was kept in the back of a police vehicle for four hours and detained at the Louisiana State Police headquarters for two hours while he was questioned.

The suit says Muflahi was "only a witness" and should not have been detained nor had his store equipment seized.

Sgt. Don Coppola, a police spokesman, said the department does not comment on pending litigation.

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8 p.m.

Baton Rouge police allege in a search warrant filed in state court Monday that a 37-year-old man shot and killed by police July 5 refused to place his hands on the hood of a vehicle and that the officers saw a "butt of a gun" in the man's front pocket.

An affidavit filed with the warrant, obtained by The Associated Press, provides the most detailed account yet by police of what happened in the deadly altercation with Alton Sterling. Sterling's death and that of a motorist in Minnesota has sparked nationwide protests.

Sterling was selling CDs in front of the Triple S Food Mart when two officers confronted him after an anonymous caller said Sterling had threatened him with a gun.

The warrant was filed to obtain surveillance video from the store. It says the officers gave Sterling "direct orders to place his hands on the hood of a nearby vehicle." The warrant says Sterling did not obey the order and resisted arrest, at which point the officers "deployed their BRPD issued Tasers." During the arrest, the warrant says the officers saw "the butt of a gun" in Sterling's pocket and that he tried "to reach for the gun from his pocket."

Cellphone video of the altercation shows Sterling being struck by a stun gun and tackled by an officer before he is shot several times.

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7 p.m.

Leaders of the Black Lives Matter movement have delivered to Memphis officials a list of changes they want to see to improve the lives of African-American residents in this majority black city.

Minister Devante Hill, an organizer of a protest that blocked Interstate 40 on Sunday night, listed the group's demands during a community meeting with Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland and interim Police Director Michael Rallings at a church Monday.

The gathering drew more than 1,200 people, many of whom attended the protest Sunday that also included marches on downtown Memphis streets, including the tourist destination of Beale Street.

Traffic on Interstate 40 was blocked in both directions for hours after hundreds of angry Black Lives Matter protesters marched onto the bridge to show their anger about police killings of black people. Police in squad cars tried to stop them, but several hundred had already made their way up the ramp, and the crowd swelled to more than 1,000.

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