East Baton Rouge District Attorney Hillar R. Moore announced today that more than half of the people arrested over a three day period of protests between July 8 – July 11 will not be charged with a crime. This should not be seen as a victory for the protestors, because they should not have been arrested in the first place.
All people do indeed have the right to assemble and protest – but that right is not respected when our police declare peaceful assemblies unlawful, or arrest people on trumped-up “obstruction” charges for placing a single toe on the side of the road. The police were violently aggressive, and showed little restraint and poor judgment in terms of who they arrested. This development simply underscores the reasons for the lawsuit that has been filed in federal court.