NOPD responds to tear gas used during Wednesday’s protest

I-10 near the Superdome in New Orleans was shutdown for several hours by people protesting...
I-10 near the Superdome in New Orleans was shutdown for several hours by people protesting social injustice and the death of George Floyd.(WVUE)
Updated: Jun. 4, 2020 at 9:40 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - Protestors say they plan to take to the streets tonight to demonstrate against the death of George Floyd and police brutality. Last night’s New Orleans protest ended when the NOPD says it used tear gas on them after protestors tried to rush through a police line on the Crescent City Connection Bridge.

Don't panic. Don't panic,” Chief Shaun Ferguson said.

Chief Shaun Ferguson says last night's protest did not end peacefully.

“I stand here before you troubled, stand here disheartened at the actions we had last night,” Ferguson said.

Hundreds of demonstrators took to the streets for the sixth night in a row of protests. They started at Duncan Plaza marched down St. Charles Avenue, Magazine Street and then attempted to cross the crescent city connection.

Police vehicles and officers in riot gear, though, blocked the bridge and the marchers were stopped.

On the Facebook video, you can hear parts of the conversation between the NOPD and the protestors.

Ferguson says the NOPD even allowed a protestor to use an NOPD loudspeaker to address the crowd in an effort to calm them down. But he says, that did not happen.

The protestors started encouraging men to come to the front and women to the back in an effort to confront law enforcement.

“We did not attack anyone. We did not deploy gas on a peaceful protest. We did deploy tear gas on individuals who chose to use force,” Ferguson said.

The ACLU released this statement:

“We are dismayed and horrified by the violent and unlawful deployment of tear gas against demonstrators after a week of peaceful protest in New Orleans.”

Criminologist Dr. Peter Scharf says law enforcement must plan ahead for protest know what their bottom line will be, while working to maintain peace.

“Sometimes tactics are needed to save human life so what I hope happened is that they acted prudently and they acted with discipline. they thought about it before and they created a bottom line,” Scharf said.

“We’re talking about making and affecting a change in this country and forging a relationship with law enforcement within this community you cannot affect change with violence. Let’s work together,” Ferguson said.

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