One of the generation’s most prominent activists, DeRay McKesson, was taken into police custody late last night [Saturday, July 9] while protesting in Baton Rouge, Louisiana following the shooting deaths of Black men at the hands of law enforcement, particularly Alton Sterling who lost his life to Baton Rouge police earlier this week.
McKesson, a Baltimore native, traveled to the city to stand in solidarity with the enraged community in peaceful protests. He was arrested around 11 p.m., and according to protesters standing nearby, the arrest was a physically violent one.
Earlier in the evening, McKesson made use of his phone to live stream the protests to social media, demonstrating the peaceful nature of the marches and the agitating behavior of the policemen attempting to disperse the crowd.
Known for wearing a pair of red sneakers and a vest in all of his instances of activism, many fear McKesson was targeted as during his live stream of the protest, an officer can be heard yelling, referring to his “loud shoes.”
“You in them loud shoes, if I see you in the road, if I get close to you, you’re going to jail,” an officer can be heard saying on the video.”
Following the dispersement of the crowd, a group of protestors including DeRay began to walk away from the scene, walking down a road, they say, had no sidewalk. All the while, however, officers are telling them to get off the road and onto the sidewalk.
Moments later, a voice is heard on McKesson’s live stream.
“City police you’re under arrest,” says an officer.
“What?!” McKesson says. “I’m under arrest y’all.”
The video and audio feed are cut.
Because many fear DeRay McKesson was targeted, his safety in custody has been questioned, many speculating that he may be harmed.
There is not yet any information on what charges the activist may be facing.