The Latest: Rally at site where police chase ended in death

AP News
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Posted: Jul 08, 2016 9:26 PM
The Latest: Rally at site where police chase ended in death

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — The Latest on fatal Louisiana police shooting (all times local):

7:50 p.m.

As crowds rallied to protest the shooting deaths of black men by police, more than 150 people gathered Friday along a side street in New Orleans' Central City neighborhood to mark where gunfire ended a chase involving a suspect and sheriff's deputies from neighboring Jefferson Parish.

Suspect Eric Harris, shot multiple times, died in the Feb. 8 incident, which has resulted in a pending FBI investigation.

Protest leader Angela Kinlaw decried the 22-year-old Harris' death as a state-sanctioned murder of a black man by police.

The crowd marched from the point of Harris' death several blocks away to a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, which some in the city are seeking to have removed, calling it a memorial to a defender of slavery.

The rally was one of a series held to protest black men's deaths by police sparked by Tuesday's slaying of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge and Wednesday's death of Philando Castile in suburban St. Paul, Minnesota.

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5:45 p.m.

More than two dozen protesters briefly lay down in front of the New Orleans Police Department headquarters in a symbolic die-in.

After a lie-in lasting 15 to 20 minutes, the protesters moved on to join other protests planned later Friday at Lee Circle in New Orleans.

Marguerite Gordon, a 42-year-old restaurant owner, was among those who sprawled on the plaza in front of the police department.

She says this was her first time taking part in a protest and says she joined because she was fed up with people killing each other.

As a mother who lost a 16-year-old child in 2009 to street violence she says she wants to do something to prevent others from losing a child. She says she doesn't want anyone else to know that feeling.

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5:30 p.m.

Gov. John Bel Edwards says he's proud of how residents of Baton Rouge have protested the police shooting death of a black man without violence. He says he's confident protests in the city will "continue in a peaceful, lawful manner" throughout the weekend.

Edwards spoke at a news conference Friday about the continued fallout after 37-year-old Alton Sterling was killed during a struggle with two police officers outside a convenience store. Sterling was black; both officers are white.

The Democratic governor appeared at the event with Quinyetta McMillon, the mother of one of Sterling's sons, and one of Sterling's aunts.

Edwards said he was horrified by the killings of five police officers in Dallas during a protest over police shootings on Thursday night. He urged protesters in Louisiana to "keep the conversation constructive."

Sterling was killed Tuesday.

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3 p.m.

The national head of the NAACP said he is tired of victims of police shootings being treated as "hashtag tragedies" instead of human beings mourned by their families.

Cornell William Brooks is president and CEO of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. He traveled from Washington to address a rally Friday outside Baton Rouge's City Hall and to meet with Alton Sterling's relatives. Sterling, a 37-year-old black man, was shot and killed Tuesday during a struggle with two white Baton Rouge police officers.

Brooks says the deadly police shootings in Louisiana and Minnesota this week present an opportunity to end racial profiling by law enforcement. He says the nation can't tolerate "a lynching in the 21st century by someone wearing a blue uniform."

He told the crowd of more than 100 people that voting in November "as though our lives depend upon it" would be the best way to reform policing practices.

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1:30 p.m.

The mother of Alton Sterling's son says she didn't know Sterling to carry a gun and doesn't believe he had one with him the night he was shot to death.

Quinyetta McMillon told The Associated Press on Friday: "I do not believe in my heart that there was a gun."

Sterling was fatally shot Tuesday during a struggle with two police officers outside a convenience store in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Police say he was armed and an eyewitness said police pulled a gun out of his pocket. McMillon says she believes police said that "to cover up something."

McMillon described Sterling as a good father to their son Cameron, calling them the "Doublemint twins" because they liked to eat snacks together. She said Cameron Sterling has been devastated by the loss of his father.

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1 p.m.

State and local law enforcement officials have briefed Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards on their public safety strategies and concerns in the aftermath of the deadly shootings in Baton Rouge and Dallas.

Louisiana State Police Col. Mike Edmonson said Friday's briefing was to review what assets are available to law enforcement and how quickly they can be mobilized in an emergency.

Baton Rouge Police Chief Carl Dabadie Jr. said his department has strived to avoid a "military-style response" to the protest that following Tuesday's fatal shooting of 37-year-old Alton Sterling during a struggle with two officers.

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9:10 a.m.

The mother of the son of a man killed by Louisiana police has denounced the killings of five police officers in Dallas during a protest over police shootings, including the one in which Alton Sterling died in Baton Rouge on Tuesday.

A statement issued Friday by Quinyetta McMillon's attorneys says "responding to violence with violence is not the answer."

"We wholeheartedly reject the reprehensible acts of violence that were perpetrated against members of the Dallas Police Department," the statement says. "Our hearts break for the families of the officers who were lost as they protected protesters and residents alike during a rally."

McMillon and her 15-year-old son, Cameron Sterling, appeared at a rally outside Baton Rouge's City Hall after the 37-year-old Sterling was fatally shot Tuesday during a struggle with two police officers outside a convenience store. Sterling was black; both officers are white.

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1:50 a.m.

Demonstrators on Thursday night blocked the intersection in front of the Triple S Food Mart, where the shooting took place, asking drivers to honk their horns. Candle-lit balloons were released into the hot night air nearby in honor of Sterling and protesters waved signs and chanted slogans.

At a vigil earlier, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards thanked the people of Baton Rouge for their peaceful demonstrations and promised to focus on improving law enforcement.

Sterling, who was black, was shot and killed Tuesday by two white Baton Rouge police officers. The video-recorded killing sparked anger and protests among the black community. night, protesters trying to make sense of recent events gathered at the store where a black man was shot to death by police, emotions stoked by another fatal shooting in Minnesota.