On Wednesday, the ACLU of Louisiana and four other groups filed a lawsuit against the City of Baton Rouge, its police department and several other area law enforcement agencies, accusing authorities of violating the constitutional rights of protesters demonstrating against the shooting of Alton Sterling. About 200 marchers have been arrested in Baton Rouge since Sterling was killed by police last week, NOLA.com reports.
Abdullah Muflahti, the owner of the convenience store outside of which his friend Alton Sterling was killed on Tuesday, has shared new footage of the shooting with The Daily Beast. The video—filmed at a different angle than the video that emerged earlier this week—appears to contradict the claim by authorities that Sterling was threatening police with a gun.
The Justice Department has opened a civil rights investigation into the fatal shooting of Alton Sterling, a 37-year-old black man, by Baton Rouge police on Tuesday, the New York Times reports. The incident was partially captured on video. “I have very serious concerns,” Louisiana governor John Bel Edwards said. “The video is disturbing, to say the least.”
With the utter breakdown of the public defender system in Louisiana showing no sign of abating, the New Orleans Times-Picayune has published a profile of an average public defense attorney who has remained loyal to the cause despite having every conceivable reason to find a new job. In a detail that English teachers in Louisiana would no doubt describe as the perfect example of irony if Louisiana education budgets weren’t sitting on the chopping block alongside the public defender system, the article notes that the defender’s office is so broke it can’t even afford a lawyer for itself.
In theory, citizens of all 50 states are legally empowered to request and obtain records from their governments. When they work as intended, public records laws are a vital tool for reporters and ordinary people to learn about the government and hold it accountable. But a lot of the time, they don’t work as intended at all.
Here we have Captain Clay Higgins of the St. Landry Parrish Sheriff’s Office. In the video below, Capt. Higgins thunderously addresses members of the so-called Gremlins Gang of southern Louisiana, while holding an automatic rifle, and while surrounded by fellow members of his department, who are also baring very large weaponry. There is no way you will watch the video and not come away feeling very good about the country we have built for each other.
On Wednesday, authorities released a journal belonging to John Houser, who killed two people and wounded nine last summer in a shooting at a Louisiana movie theater. On the last page, the Associated Press reports, Houser wrote, shortly before the shooting, that he was leaving the journal “in hopes of truth, my death all but assured.”