Baton Rouge Police Chief Carl Dabadie Jr. said Saturday that if it turns out that an officer pointed a handgun at protesters simply to urge them to disperse, that he would not support those actions.
But he said that the incident, captured early Saturday on cell-phone video by a reporter for The Advocate, is still being reviewed.
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"These officers are on edge. They're scared just like the public is. But we don't condone that, and it has been addressed," he said, referring to the officer who a police spokesman earlier said does appear to be pointing a department-issued handgun at protesters.
Dabadie said he did not immediately know the officer's name, but added if the lawman used the weapon merely to make protesters move out of the way, "That would not be normal."
At the time this happened, the protesters had moved south from Goodwood Avenue, where they'd stood for hours across from a line of police and sheriff's deputies. The two officers in the video were the first to arrive, attempting to detain a young woman at the end of a chain of protesters sitting across the highway.
The officer drew his gun after protesters pleaded with police not to arrest the girl, then tugged her away from police. No other law enforcement arrived until about a minute and a half later, when a number of squad cars arrived.
Dabadie said those arrested late Friday and early Saturday at a protest outside police headquarters after the police killing of Alton Sterling had every opportunity to avoid being detained.
"We gave them multiple warnings. We had some city leaders out there, also, begging them not to get in the streets," he said while walking out of a morning briefing with other law enforcement officials. "We can't afford for Airline Highway to get blocked, and we definitely don't want anybody to get hurt."
There were 30 protesters arrested and booked into Parish Prison, according to records from the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's office, which runs the lockup.
All of those arrested were from Baton Rouge except two from Denham Springs and one from Prairieville, said Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Casey Rayborn Hicks. Most face counts of obstructing a highway, while three are accused of inciting a riot and one is accused of battery on a police officer in addition to other counts, the records show.
Dabadie said his officers are tired and are taking all precautions in the wake of a sniper killing of five officers at a rally in Dallas this past week.
"They're working very long hours. The heat is playing a role also," he said. "This 95, 100 degree heat takes its toll when you have an officer fully geared out."
1. Nancy Davis – Obstruction of a hwy, resisting - BRPD
2. Everette Johnson – obstruction of hwy - BRPD
3. Darius Scharnett – Obstruction of hwy - BRPD
4. James Simmons – Interfering - BRPD
5. Bosley Oneal – obstruction of hwy - BRPD
6. Jeremy Spurlock – Obstruction of hwy - BRPD
7. Tevin Dundy – Obstruction of hwy, Resisting - BRPD
8. Kennyth Bell – Obstruction of hwy, Resisting - BRPD
9. Daphne Patterson ? Obstruction of hwy - BRPD
10. Darren Early – Obstruction of hwy - BRPD
11. Trikee Williams – Impeding Roadway, Resisting - BRPD
12. Larry Bilton – Obstruction hwy - BRPD
13. Christian Henslee-Obstruction hwy, Resisting, Ill Carry Weapon - BRPD
14. Terrell Booker – Obstruction hwy, Poss Marijuana - BRPD
15. Dylan Yesso – Obstruction hwy - BRPD
16. Kemi Gilmore – Obstruction of hwy, Resisting - BRPD
17. Kiara Jones – Obstruction of hwy - BRPD
18. Paige Scott – Obstruction hwy - BRPD
19. Keosha Jones – Obstruction of hwy - BRPD
20. Aerilya Clark – Agg Assault, Resisting - BRPD
21. Bassam Shalabi – Obstruction of hwy - BRPD
22. Tylon Wilson – Inciting to Riot - EBRSO
23. Johnathen Smith – Inciting to Riot - EBRSO
24. Derrick Mullens – Inciting to Riot - EBRSO
25. Elcide Jones – Obstruction hwy - BRPD
26. Deandriane Cormouche – Obstruction hwy - BRPD
27. Doremus Carter – Obstruction hwy - BRPD
28. Cedric Coston – Obstruction hwy - BRPD
29. Christian Whitmore – Obstruction hwy - BRPD
30. Alayna Joyner – Resisting, Obstruction hwy, Battery of an Officer - BRPD