NOPD fires tear gas on protesters trying to cross bridge


June 04, 2020

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Police in New Orleans released tear gas on hundreds of demonstrators who pushed past a line of officers to cross a Mississippi River bridge during demonstrations against the death of George Floyd.

A video of the incident obtained by The Times Picayune / The New Orleans Advocate shows a crowd of protesters running, shoving past each other, and shouting “walk” on Wednesday night as smoke envelops the background of the bridge.

New Orleans police wait for marchers making their way up the on-ramp of the Crescent City Connection bridge on Wednesday, June 3, 2020, during a protest over the death of George Floyd, who died May 25 after being restrained by police in Minneapolis. (Chris Granger/The Advocate via AP)

The encounter came hours after a rally and a march that started near the New Orleans City Hall. Some protesters were chanting curses at New Orleans Saints Quarterback Drew Brees, who earlier Wednesday was criticized by fellow high-profile athletes, including LeBron James, and some of his own teammates after saying he opposed kneeling during the national anthem on an interview with Yahoo.

A person pours milk on the face of a protester who was teargassed by police officers by the Crescent City Connection in New Orleans, Wednesday, June 3, 2020. A viral video of police officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on George Floyd's neck while he was handcuffed sparked nationwide protests. The officer was later charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in Floyd's death. (Sophia Germer/The Advocate via AP)

Police had attempted to stop demonstrators as they walked up an onramp of the Crescent City Connection bridge, and several members who were leading the group were allowed behind the police line to talk to police commanders.

Officers fired the tear gas after “the crowd refused to comply with three orders not to attempt to walk across” the bridge, the New Orleans Police Department said in a Twitter Post Thursday morning. Police said they deployed the tear gas “in response to escalating, physical confrontation with our officers.”

The crowd retreated away from the gas, and when they recovered, some returned and challenged again. At one point, some protesters appeared to be hit with rubber bullets.

Police officers spray teargas at protesters by the Crescent City Connection bridge in New Orleans, Wednesday, June 3, 2020, during a protest over the death of George Floyd, who died May 25 after being restrained by police in Minneapolis. (Sophia Germer/The Advocate via AP)

Shortly after midnight, New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell said in a Twitter post that “escalation and confrontation hurts all of us,” and pleaded with protesters to go home.

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Cover Photo: New Orleans police clash with protesters on top of the Crescent City Connection bridge Wednesday, June 3, 2020, in New Orleans during a protest over the death of George Floyd, who died May 25 after being restrained by police in Minneapolis. (Chris Granger/The Advocate via AP)

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