Five people were issued a summons during a protest outside the Morial Convention Center in New Orleans as Attorney General Jeff Sessions spoke Monday morning to the nation’s sheriffs, defending the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy toward those who enter the country illegally.
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The five people were each issued a summons for disturbing the peace, an Orleans Parish Sheriff's Office spokesman said. No formal arrests were made.
One person was struck by a vehicle during the demonstration but was not injured and refused treatment, New Orleans police told WWL-TV. No charges were filed in the incident, according to the report.
Deputies from the St. Charles Parish and St. John the Baptist Parish sheriff’s offices, who were in attendance at the conference, were seen physically restraining protesters.
At one point, demonstrators said they hoped to go into the Convention Center, though it was not immediately clear if any entered the building.
Saw 5 people detained, may have been more. Protesters going back to neutral ground now.— Matt Sledge (@mgsledge) June 18, 2018
Traffic on Convention Center Boulevard was blocked for a short period while protesters demonstrated in the street.
One protester, Nancy Staggs, said she heard about the protest on Sunday night and stayed up late to make signs.
“What is happening on our southern border is heartbreaking,” said Staggs, a blues singewho lives Uptown.
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The demonstrators were protesting against the “zero tolerance” policy which Sessions announced last month. Since it took effect, about 2,000 children have been separated from their parents and detained in immigration facilities while their parents face charges for immigration violations.
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At one point, protesters outside were chanting loudly enough to be heard inside the Convention Center, though not in the hall where Sessions spoke.
This story was updated to reflect that the five people were issued summonses, not arrested, as reported earlier citing WWL-TV.