Latest: Protests in Baton Rouge calm after busy weekend
BATON ROUGE, LA. >> 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):
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.
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.
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.
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.
The funeral for a Louisiana black man fatally shot by police will be held Friday in Baton Rouge.
Alton Sterling's family will hold his funeral at the Southern University F.G. Clark Activity Center. A viewing is scheduled from 8 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., with the service to follow at 11 a.m.
Carney and Mackey Funeral Home of Baton Rouge is coordinating arrangements.
Sterling, a 37-year-old black man, was killed Tuesday by two white police officers. His death, captured on video by bystanders, has sparked days of protests.
A Louisiana civil rights group is criticizing law enforcement officers over their treatment of protesters.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana said Monday that Baton Rouge police "used violent, militarized tactics on groups of people who have gathered peacefully in protest of Alton Sterling's killing."
On Sunday, Amnesty International questioned the high number of arrests during Saturday's protests and whether it was a "proportionate response to peaceful protests."
Sterling, a 37-year-old black man, was killed Tuesday by two white police officers. His death as well as the video recordings of it captured by bystanders have sparked days of protests.
Authorities have arrested about 200 people so far over three days of demonstrations.
At times police have used riot gear and military-style vehicles in demonstrations.
Louisiana's attorney general says he won't have access to the federal investigation on the Alton Sterling shooting until it's completed and a decision has been made on potential federal charges.
Attorney General Jeff Landry's statement came minutes after the district attorney in the parish were Sterling died announced that he was recusing himself from the case.
Landry said his department has been advised by the U.S. Attorney's Office that "we will not have access to the ongoing and extensive federal investigation being conducted."
He said his office looks forward to "...fulfilling our responsibilities upon completion of the investigation and receipt of the complete investigative materials."
The Department of Justice has opened a federal civil rights investigation into Sterling's death. But any decision on whether to pursue other charges such as murder or negligent homicide or assault would generally come from the state.
Baton Rouge's top prosecutor says his office hasn't made any decisions on charges against protesters who were arrested over the weekend in demonstrations against killings by police.
East Baton Rouge District Attorney Hillar C. Moore III said Monday at a news conference that those decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis. Police made nearly 200 arrests over the weekend in Baton Rouge.
Moore also said that he's recusing himself from any state criminal investigation into the shooting death of Alton Sterling, a black man, at the hands of two white police officers. He cited his professional relationship with the parents of one of the officers, Blane Salamoni. Salamoni's parents have both worked for Baton Rouge police, and Moore says they've interacted directly and worked on hundreds of cases in common.
New Orleans residents account for nearly half of the 50 people who were arrested Sunday in Baton Rouge at protests over deadly police shootings.
A list released Monday by the East Baton Rouge Parish Sherriff's office shows that 38 of the 50 people arrested at protests that began Sunday are from Louisiana. Twenty-two of them are New Orleans residents, while seven are from Baton Rouge.
A Baton Rouge police spokesman, Sgt. Don Coppola, has said that protests have become more violent as protesters from other cities arrived in Baton Rouge.
More than 180 people have been arrested at protests in Louisiana since the July 5 fatal shooting of Alton Sterling, a 37-year-old black man, during a struggle with two white Baton Rouge police officers.
Most of Sunday's arrests took place near downtown Baton Rouge, where police said they stopped a group of protesters from walking onto Interstate 110.
Authorities made more than 160 arrests in Louisiana's capital during a long hot weekend of protests over killings by police, with only one reported injury among the ranks when an officer was hit by a projectile.
Police in riot gear kept protesters from entering Interstate 110 in Baton Rouge on Sunday, thwarting a tactic activists have attempted around in the country in the aftermath of the killings of Alton Sterling in Louisiana and Philando Castile in Minnesota.
More than a thousand demonstrators left a Black Lives Matter rally in Memphis, Tennessee, and occupied a Mississippi River bridge Sunday night, temporarily halting traffic on Interstate 40. Hundreds walked onto I-264 in Portsmouth, Virginia, marooning motorists for hours.
Demonstrators failed to block highways in Atlanta, and in San Francisco in recent days.
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