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BLM Leader’s Lawsuit Calls Police Too Aggressive For Clearing Streets Protesters Shut Down

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Amber Randall Civil Rights Reporter
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A prominent Black Lives Matter activist filed a class action lawsuit Thursday against Baton Rouge, La., due to alleged force police officers used against protesters.

DeRay McKesson, a prominent member of the Black Lives Matter movement, claimed in the lawsuit that Baton Rogue police used a “militarised and aggressive manner” when clearing a street protesters had shut down in June, reports BBC News.

“Defendants used excessive force in attacking, battering, beating and assaulting plaintiffs and class members without provocation or the need for defense,” the lawsuit alleges.

McKesson and approximately 100 other people were arrested July 9 as they took over a highway in protest of the police shooting of Alton Sterling. Police arrested McKesson when he walked along Airline Highway. He was charged with “simple obstruction of highway commerce” and released the next day. Later on, the charges against him were dropped.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said the police acted appropriately.

“Defendants employed unconstitutional tactics to disturb, disrupt, infringe upon and criminalize plaintiffs and class members’ constitutional rights to freedom of speech and assembly,” the suit claims.

According to the lawsuit, the plantiffs should receive repayment for wages lost, court costs and bond expenses, among other things. The suit names the city of Baton Rouge, the East Baton Rouge Parish, the superintendent of the Louisiana State Police and the city’s local chief of police and sheriff.

State Police Col. Mike Edmonson told the Associated Press that he thought that the police used “exercised great restraint.”

“I didn’t witness any aggressive form of behavior by any police officer,” Edmonson told the Associated Press.

Other activist groups and the ACLU have filed a lawsuit against the city July 13. Their lawsuit also claims that police used “excessive force” when dealing with protesters.

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