A group of some 40 people chanted in front of City Hall on Monday morning in a protest that was peaceful but pointed: Asking for East Baton Rouge Parish Mayor-President Kip Holden to make an appearance and for racism to be eradicated from the Baton Rouge Police Department, their chants included “Hey hey, ho ho, Kip Holden has got to go” and “No justice, no peace, no racist police.”

And on Monday night, other protesters at a Nation of Islam rally gathered at the Triple S Food Mart as organizers again called for a boycott of stores like Wal-Mart and Cortana Mall, urging residents to patronize black-owned stores.

About 100 people showed up at the Nation of Islam rally, where speakers expressed distrust of law enforcement, the government and white people generally, with one speaker claiming “the white people of America are descended from English criminals.”

Several of the protesters at the downtown rally said this is their seventh day of protesting after a video last week showed police officers holding down and shooting Alton Sterling at the Triple S Food Mart, setting off protests nationwide.

On Monday, Baton Rouge Police Department officers stood across from the downtown protesters during some of their chants, but there was little tension between the groups. At one point, protester Keon Preston embraced a police officer in front of City Hall and the two prayed together.

Preston said he is disgusted by the actions of the police officers in the video but he generally supports the Police Department. He said he sees his role as keeping the protests peaceful.

“I want the protesters to protest, but I don’t want them to antagonize the police and be out here cursing at them,” Preston said.

Brandy Stewart and Patricia Powell both held up signs and said they are worried about black men in their lives being targeted by police. They said many protesters arrived downtown Monday between 4 a.m. and 4:30 a.m.

“I have a son; I have a brother; I have a boyfriend,” Powell said.

The protesters came from different groups and organizations, and were not part of a larger umbrella group.

Many said they expect to continue until the officers responsible for killing Sterling are convicted of murder. And they said protests might turn violent if the officers are not convicted.

“I’ve seen a humble crowd,” protester Joyce Steward said of the groups she has marched with so far.

Can’t see the video below? Click here.

 BRPD officers stood across from the protesters during some of their chants but there was little tension between the groups. At one point, protester Keon Preston, embraced a police officer in front of City Hall and the two prayed together.

Preston said he was disgusted by the actions of the police officers in the video, but that he generally still supports the police department. He said he sees his role as keeping the protests peaceful.

“I want the protesters to protest but I don’t want them to antagonize the police and be out here cursing at them,” Preston said.

Brandy Stewart and Patricia Powell both held up signs and said they are worried about black men in their lives being targeted by police. They said many arrived between 4 a.m. and 4:30 a.m. Monday downtown.

“I have a son, I have a brother, I have a boyfriend,” Powell said.

The protesters came from many different groups and organizations, and were not part of one larger umbrella group.

Many said they expect to continue until the BRPD officers responsible for killing Sterling are convicted of murder. And they said protests might turn violent of the officers are not convicted.

“I’ve seen a humble crowd,” said protester Joyce Steward about the groups she has marched with so far.

 

 

Follow Andrea Gallo on Twitter, @aegallo.​