Baton Rouge Youth After Vicious Police Attack: “No Matter What You Do To Us, We Still Standing”

July 14, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


Editor’s Note: On Sunday, July 10, storm troopers from the Baton Rouge Police Department rampaged against hundreds of youthful protesters at the conclusion of a peaceful march to the State Capitol. Armored personnel carriers girded by dozens of riot equipped cops pointing assault rifles, blared ear piercing noises, and lurched down narrow residential streets lined with cottages. Brutal cops swarmed onto the lawns of people who welcomed protesters, forcing the residents into their homes, and arresting people seeking protection on private property. An unknown number of people were beaten and arrested by the marauders. Revolution spoke with one of the protesters – a young African-American woman – about what happened on Sunday.

The following Twitter videos show police attacking people protesting the police murder of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Lousiana, last Sunday

Tell us what happened when the police attacked the protest.

Well basically, people was just protesting on the side streets. After a while the police started snatching them up off of the sidewalk. Then after a while people kind of backed away from them in the yard, and they was coming all over these people’s porch. Snatching people up. You could tell people were scared, like, why are they snatching us up like this.

[The authorities are] trying to send a message around the world like we were being violent, we’re not peaceful protesters, that is all bullcrap. I’ve been protesting since this incident happened. I haven’t seen any violence except the violence with the police against the protesters. They hate to see us united. And I ain’t say us, Black people, but us, like, everybody. They had white people out there, Black people, Chinese, maybe Puerto Rican if I’m not mistaken. And they couldn’t stand it. They even handled the white people worse cuz they were standing with us.

One officer decided she wanted to point a gun at me. So you tell me, who the violent one is. Is it the protesters, or your law enforcement? Cuz obviously they’re the violent ones. Not to mention, the government. I was on Airline (at the police station protests) as well. And the way they treated them people at Airline was like animals. They had snipers on the roof. You woulda swore to god they was at war. Snipers on the building, people standing outside, trying to get they voice heard. I thought I was in a movie, like is this really happening? Is these police really acting like they at war? SWAT team flying up and down the street, they hanging out the back of the truck, AK-47s.

And they say we ignorant? Look like all law enforcement is ignorant. And they trained. Are we violent? No, they the violent ones. I witnessed, I done seen people be standing on the side of the road, all we did was lock arms on the side of the road, and we stood there, we said “no justice, no peace, hands up! Don’t shoot!” We said that, maybe, three, four times, before the officers took one step, all together, with their riot gear, whatever they want to call it, to me it was war gear. And when we locked arms after that, they bum rushed us. Like they was playing football. They bum rushed us like we was in the middle of the road, and we was on the sidewalk. Not to mention, we pay taxes. So I’m trying to figure out what would make them tackle people like that. They was , “oh, gimme him, gimme her.” Like we’re just merchandise. We’re not merchandise, we’re human beings. We’re not animals.

I could never understand why they’re treating us like we’re the violent ones. I would never understand, like in Mike Brown’s case, all I can say, whatever that officer aimed at, he didn’t need to shoot him the way he did. They supposed to be so smart, they went to school for all this. But how didn’t they see that this young man … now, they say he was a thug, but he did graduate. Thugs don’t graduate. They don’t know what a thug is. If you’re from the streets you know that. A thug is not somebody you might see, pants sagging, or they off into something like that. It’s just something certain young men do, I don’t know why, I have no idea. But at the end of the day they somebody’s kid. They have a momma. They have a daddy. They have a brother, they have a sister. They have somebody waiting for them back home, and when they don’t make it home for nonsense, it's ridiculous, and we as Americans need to stand up and stop it.

Have you considered that police treat people this way because they ARE doing their job?.

They are, they are. I have to ask myself, why are these people acting this way. It’s how they treated. It's also like, they (the police) got no guts. I said to them, you’re acting like you’re at war? You’re at war in Iraq. You’re at war in Afghanistan. It’s Afghanistan out here. I got my sign, and I got my fist up. Why y’all got all this gear on? Ain’t nobody doing it out here but you. And it was mostly females out there. There was a couple of men, and they stood in front of us. And they (the police) really didn’t like that. They bum rushed them. They treated them like animals. They was dragging them all around the ground, slapping them on the head. I met one white guy, they slapped him on his head because they was over there protesting, and he wasn’t even in the road. He was over in the grass. They slammed him onto the grass.

I seen another white guy, and that’s where I got my sign from. He made that sign. And he got slammed into the ground. I don’t know if he got out, and I hope he did, because he was out there. I don’t understand how people all over the world can see how such a tragedy this was, and our own law enforcement can’t.

They do things like this all over the world. Iraq and Afghanistan, like you said, Guatemala, Somalia, all over. And they’ve done things like this in cities across this country.

I see it now. My eyes are opened. And basically I’m gonna try to educate all my brothers and sisters. I’m gonna get into my history. I just need to learn a lot of stuff. Because this system is not right. This man (Alton Sterling) was shot down in front of this store. They talk about Bloods, Crips, gangs, we don’t even have that in Baton Rouge. If anything you might have little neighborhood things. The sad part is, every time a cop kills somebody Black, the first thing they try to do is paint an image of him as no good. And it’s horrible. These people’s family is already through so much, and all you can think about is a Black person being a thug. Newsflash. Every Black person you meet is not a thug. Just because somebody don’t act like you don’t mean they’re the worst person on earth.

What was it like when those armored vehicles and all the cops started marching down the street towards you and the others.

I felt like it was 1918 or something. It felt like I was in a movie. I didn’t think it was real. These people that’s paid to protect and serve us? Hell, I felt like we was at war with the police. And they don’t even need the name police. They need to change their name. They’re not here to protect nobody. Because if they was, they’d understand people are out here hurting. Instead of saying people are out here being violent. I been out here, and I ain’t heard a gunshot since this man was killed, I been out here every night til 3 in the morning sometimes, and I never seen nobody out here shooting, fighting, I never seen none of that. So why they keep saying that?

Bob Avakian – BA – has said that that the police aren’t here to serve and protect the people, they’re here to serve and protect the system that rules over the people.

Oh yeah. I know they’re not here to serve and protect me. One time I got jumped at my house. They never came. They never came. I didn’t see them til I made it to the hospital.  What they did on Sunday was slamming people, dragging them out of the yard, just treating people like animals. One person came out and said hey, this is private property. That stopped them for maybe a second. Then they was all on her porch, grabbing people, dragging them out of the yard.

I thought you had to commit a crime to get involved with the police. But obviously not, these days. You could be standing up for your rights, and still get tortured by the police. And if you’re on the streets and you let them know you know your rights, they get mad. Oh yeah, they get very mad. They’ll take you to jail and throw a charge on you. And they wonder why people don’t like them. But that’s why. They’re not professional. I don’t know who is training you, but you’re trained to kill people. They kill more people than anybody. They want to talk about Black on Black crime, I can only be responsible for myself. But what about these police who are trained to protect and serve, are they taking responsibility for the ones who kill us? When are they gonna take action and do they job and stop killing us?

People in the rest of this country, and many people in the rest of the world, know that the young people of Baton Rouge have very courageously stood up to all this. And it’s made a big difference.

Of all the murders these cops have did, this one is on tape. You can see everything. From where he had his hands up, he was immediately tackled. Now mind you, they said they got a call, right? From a homeless man. Ok, so why haven’t we heard his voice? They must think we’re ignorant. Another example – if he had been in front of that store waving a gun, don’t you think they’d have shown that? I don’t want to hear about his background, about his gun, about Bloods and Crips,  that’s bs, it’s garbage. Hold these people accountable for what they did. It's wrong, it's sad that a 15-year-old child and four other siblings got to grow up without their daddy. Because of what?

These young people are out here standing up, they’re hurting. They feel like it could be them. They’re scared, this could happen to anyone. It was wrong. And that’s why we’ve been out, same place, every night. It don’t matter. A lot of people are touched and moved by this situation.

People have been shot by the police in Baton Rouge. But we got the tape on this one. We’ve never seen where they’ve shot someone lying down, on their back, and be shot. You can’t be human to do that to someone else, ain’t no way. Justice needs to be served.  I don’t know what’s going to happen from here. It’s going to be chaos. Because our youth, they already don’t care. As you can see, law enforcement is already targeting these kids. You can see them walking down the street. I’m a female, I’ve been targeted by the police beaucoup times. I can’t even count on my hands how many times. Just from the vehicle. If you ain’t got a brand new vehicle, oh shit, they’re on you.

One time I’m coming home from work, I’m on one side of the street, he’s on the other. He did a u turn. I say watch him pull me over. He had no probable cause. But he thought there was a nigger in this car. But there ain’t no niggers in this car, I’m in this car. The minute I turned, he’s right behind me turning. I pulled over. You know what he said? “I seen you turning side to side. Where’s the weed?” And immediately that put me into a whole other state of mind. I just had a long damn day at work. And you’re coming in my car looking for weed that isn’t there? Then he asked, “can I search your car?” I got out and I locked it. Oh, he was so mad.

That’s why I say, they hate for you to know your rights. They think we’re so dumb and illiterate, we don’t pay attention to a lot of things. But what they don’t know, we pay attention to everything. Everything. As you can see. That’s why people are out here marching right now. That’s why we’re out here no matter how many times you drag us out of the yard, drag us down the street. No matter what you do to us, we still standing.


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