The Latest: Suspect in 'credible' threat to police is jailed

AP News
|
Posted: Jul 15, 2016 6:30 PM
The Latest: Suspect in 'credible' threat to police is jailed

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — The Latest on the fatal shooting of a black man by Baton Rouge police officers (all times local):

5:30 p.m.

A 20-year-old man accused of stealing guns from a pawn shop, in what authorities called a credible threat to harm police officers, is being held without bond in a Baton Rouge jail.

Malik Bridgewater didn't enter a plea to a firearms theft charge during his initial appearance in federal court on Friday. A federal magistrate said Bridgewater would be returned to state custody following the hearing.

Police arrested Bridgewater and two other suspects following a burglary last weekend at a pawn shop where eight handguns were stolen.

A court filing Thursday says Bridgewater told investigators his motivation for the burglary was to sell stolen items. But authorities said one of his accomplices told investigators they stole firearms to shoot police officers.

The arrests came amid heightened tensions in Baton Rouge following a black man's fatal shooting during a struggle with two white police officers.

Bridgewater's attorney, Mark Upton, said his client's bond for a 2015 criminal charge in state court was revoked following his July 10 arrest.

___

4:45 p.m.

The ACLU in Louisiana says a prosecutor's decision not to charge about 100 protesters should not be seen as a victory because they shouldn't have been arrested in the first place.

The ACLU released a statement Friday after East Baton Rouge District Attorney Hillar Moore said more than half of the people arrested between July 8-11 will not be charged with a crime. The demonstrators were angry after police shooting deaths of black men in Baton Rouge and Minnesota.

The ACLU has sued Baton Rouge police and other law enforcement over the police treatment of demonstrators, saying officers were violently aggressive and showed little restraint and poor judgment in terms of who they arrested.

The governor and police chief have defended the response to the protests.

___

2:10 p.m.

A district attorney says his office won't be prosecuting more than half of the nearly 200 protesters who have been arrested in Baton Rouge since a deadly police shooting last week.

East Baton Parish District Attorney Hillar Moore said Friday that his office reviewed initial police reports on 185 arrests between July 8-11 and determined it will not prosecute roughly 100 of them.

Moore said those cases involve protesters who only were arrested on misdemeanor charges of obstruction of a roadway or public passage. The ACLU of Louisiana and other groups filed a lawsuit earlier this week over the treatment of protesters by police.

Moore said DeRay Mckesson, a prominent Black Lives Matter activist, is among those who will not be prosecuted.

Alton Sterling, a 37-year-old black man, was shot and killed on July 5 during a struggle with two white Baton Rouge police officers. His death, along with another fatal police shooting in Minnesota last week, sparked protests and heightened tensions in Baton Rouge.

Moore said his office is reviewing the other cases, which include allegations such as resisting arrest, carrying guns or some "act of violence."

___

1:45 p.m.

The owner of the convenience store where Alton Sterling was shot and killed says the black man was the "meaning of southern hospitality."

Abdullah Muflahi, the owner of the Triple S Food Mart, took the stage Friday at Sterling's funeral to rousing applause.

Muflahi said Sterling wasn't just a man who sold CDs in front of his store. He said Sterling was his friend and recalled how friendly Sterling was when he moved to Baton Rouge from Michigan.

Sterling was shot and killed July 5 during an altercation with two white police officers in front of Muflahi's convenience store.

His death was captured on two cellphone recordings, sparking outrage among the African-American community over the treatment of black people by police.

__

1:10 p.m.

Civil rights leader the Rev. Jesse Jackson, speaking at the funeral for a black Louisiana man killed by police, says there were three sites of crucifixion last week.

Jackson spoke Friday to a crowd of a few thousand assembled at Southern University to remember 37-year-old Alton Sterling.

Sterling was killed July 5 in front of a convenience store by two white police officers. His death was followed the next day by Philando Castile in Minnesota and the shooting deaths of five police officers in Dallas on Thursday.

Sterling's death and the two cellphone videos documenting it have sparked widespread protests.

___

12:40 p.m.

Speakers at Alton Sterling's funeral are calling for justice in the shooting death of the 37-year-old black man at the hands of two white police officers.

Robert Muhammed, from the Nation of Islam, gave a rousing speech to the crowd of a couple thousand people assembled Friday at Southern University in Baton Rouge.

He said there was no substitute for justice.

Another speaker, Chauna Banks from the Baton Rouge Metro Council, told the crowd that Sterling's blood cries out for justice.

Activists Jesse Jackson and the Rev. Al Sharpton were also attending the service and were expected to speak.

Alton Sterling was shot and killed July 5 in front of a convenience store after an altercation with police. His death and the two cellphone videos documenting it have sparked widespread protests.

__

11:25 a.m.

Two of President Barack Obama's two senior advisers are attending the funeral of the black Louisiana man who was killed by police last week.

The White House says Roy Austin, deputy assistant to the president for urban affairs, attended the funeral for 37-year-old Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge.

Sterling was fatally shot by two white officers who pinned him to the ground outside a convenience store.

Stephanie Young, another Obama adviser, also attended Sterling's funeral.

Young and Cabinet secretary Broderick Johnson represented Obama at the funeral Thursday for Philando Castile. The 32-year-old was shot by police in suburban St. Paul, Minnesota, during a traffic stop.

Johnson chairs the My Brother's Keeper task force. Obama created the program to help minority males stay on the right path.

___

11:15 a.m.

The funeral for a 37-year-old black man who was killed by police has started in Baton Rouge.

The services for Alton Sterling got underway Friday with a gospel choir singing hymns, as many in the crowd of a couple thousand joined in.

Gary Chambers, a spokesman for the Sterling family and master of ceremonies for the funeral, said at the beginning that the event was intended to be a celebration of Sterling's life — not an opportunity for demonstrations about his death. He told people that if they wanted to protest, they should leave.

Sterling was shot to death as two white officers pinned him to the pavement. The killing was recorded on cellphone video and shared across the internet, fueling nationwide protests.

Police said he had a gun.

___

9:25 a.m.

A stream of mourners is paying their respects to Alton Sterling, a 37-year-old man who was fatally shot by Baton Rouge police on July 5.

Sterling's death was recorded on cellphone video and shared across the internet. Sterling's death and a fatal police shooting in Minnesota helped fuel recent nationwide protests. Sterling was selling CDs outside a convenience store when two white officers pinned him to the pavement and he was fatally shot. Police said he had a gun.

Sterling's body lay in an open casket Friday inside the basketball arena at Southern University, a historically black college in north Baton Rouge. A funeral was to take place later in the morning.

Claire Carter was among those who came to pay respect. She, like so many others, says she wants aggressive policing to end.

She said the encounter Sterling had with police "went too far" as police tackled him and used a stun gun on him. Officers were responding to an anonymous call that he had threatened someone with a gun.

Carter said she bought a rhythm and blues CD from Sterling about a year ago and took it out and played it again after his death.

___

9:10 a.m.

A Baton Rouge man accused of stealing guns from a pawn shop told investigators he was motivated by money, despite claims that an alleged accomplice said they stole firearms to shoot police officers.

Twenty-year-old Malik Bridgewater is scheduled to make his initial appearance in federal court on Friday. Police arrested Bridgewater and two other suspects following a burglary last weekend at a pawn shop where eight handguns were stolen.

A court filing Thursday says Bridgewater told investigators his motivation for the burglary was to sell stolen items.

But state and local law-enforcement authorities said the stolen guns were part of a credible threat to harm police officers.

The arrests came amid heightened tensions in Baton Rouge following a black man's fatal shooting during a struggle with two white police officers.

___

3:15 a.m.

Family and friends of a black man shot and killed by two white police officers in Louisiana are gathering to honor him.

Funeral services are being held Friday for 37-year-old Alton Sterling, who died July 5 outside a Baton Rouge convenience store during an altercation with the officers.

Captured on video recordings, Sterling's death sparked outrage among many in the African-American community about the treatment of black people by police. His death prompted protests and heightened tensions in the U.S. along with last week's deadly police shooting of a black man in Minnesota and the killing of five police officers in Dallas.

A public viewing is set to begin at 8 a.m. CDT at Southern University in Baton Rouge followed by a funeral.