Prosecutors in Baton Rouge today [Wednesday, July 20] announced they will drop charges in about 100 cases involving protesters arrested for obstruction of a roadway or public passage.
In a statement, District Attorney Hillar C. Moore III of East Baton Rouge reviewed the arrests that occurred between July 8 and July 11 and announced that only four protesters remained in jail “due to other maters.”
Ieshia Evans, the woman in the viral photo snapped during the protests and prominent activist DeRay Mckesson are among those whose charges were dropped.
Mckesson, a prominent figure in the Black Lives Matter movement, was arrested on one count of obstruction of a highway, a misdemeanor, as he was walking along Baton Rouge’s Airline Highway.
According to Louisiana law, first-time offenders are allowed to have misdemeanor arrests wiped from their state record, pending no other arrests or convictions.
Upon his release Mckesson and others who were arrested requested for the charges to be dropped by the Baton Rouge DA’s office.
“It is clear that the District Attorney understood that the arrest was unlawful and dropped the charges accordingly,” Mckesson told The Baltimore Sun.
His attorney, Roy Rodney Jr. agrees.
“This is exactly the relief we had requested from the district attorney and the relief we had expected,” Rodney said. “So I’m glad to see that the DA conducted a rational review of the facts of this case, because Mr. Mckesson had done nothing wrong. He has not violated the law, nor had he disobeyed any police officers.”