The police response to Baton Rouge citizens protesting the killing of Alton Sterling was relatively muted and restrained at first. There was no way that was going to last, right?
The Advocate reported that a Sunday protest that began as a peaceful march turned into a confrontation between demonstrators and police in Baton Rouge. The protest began with several hundred people at Wesley United Methodist and headed downtown, but police began to crack down on the group when it attempted to block the interstate.
Video posted by The Advocate shows police using a heavily-armored SWAT vehicle as well as a long-range acoustic device to disperse the group.
Protesters sought shelter in the yard of Lisa Batiste, a woman who The Advocate reported has been allowing protesters to gather at her rented home. In another video from the scene, protesters can be heard shouting "this is private property" but that doesn't stop the officers from advancing.
The videos are depressingly familiar to anyone who's been following Black Lives Matter protests since the death of Michael Brown. Police have been repeatedly criticized in the last two years for responding to civil demonstrations with military-grade weapons and tactics, yet scenes like these from Baton Rouge continue to happen in the aftermath of police shootings.