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Hundreds, including DeRay Mckesson, arrested at protests over police brutality

Baton Rouge protest WBRZ

A night when protesters flooded the streets in cities across the country culminated in several violent encounters with police and hundreds of people arrested, including prominent Black Lives Matter activist DeRay Mckesson, who marched with local demonstrators in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Mckesson joined activists there following the officer-involved shooting of Alton Sterling, 37, who died early Tuesday morning as he sold CDs in front of a convenience store. According to the Baton Rouge Advocate, about 100 people were arrested there, including Mckesson, who was handcuffed as he filmed the demonstration and a standoff with police.

New York Times reporter Yamiche Alcindor tweeted Sunday morning that Mckesson was charged with "simple obstruction of a highway of commerce."

Mckesson was released late Sunday afternoon, though his charges have not been dropped.

Outfitted in riot gear, Baton Rouge police used tear gas on demonstrators and fired rubber bullets at them. Still, the Advocate reports, many of the protests in Baton Rouge throughout the week have been peaceful, including one demonstration at police headquarters on Friday and a march downtown on Saturday.

Meanwhile, protesters shut down I-94 near downtown St. Paul, Minnesota, in reaction to the officer-involved shooting of Philando Castile, 32, on Wednesday in the St. Paul area during a routine traffic stop. What began as a peaceful protest ended in rioting and resulted in 102 arrests as well as 21 injured police officers on Saturday, according to the Twin Cities Pioneer Press.

Police asked protesters to disperse several times, but after the activists remained on the highway, police donned riot gear and deployed "smoke rounds and chemical irritants" at the crowd, according to the report. Among those arrested were white protesters who encircled other protesters to shield them from police.

Later, protesters flocked to the Minnesota Governor’s Residence, where people have been gathering since Castile’s death was first reported. As the protesters left that location around 2:30 am, about 40 to 50 were arrested a few blocks away.

Police in Phoenix, Arizona, declared a protest there an "unlawful assembly" after tensions erupted, according to the Arizona Republic. After a peaceful rally, activists marched through the streets toward the I-10 highway. They were eventually met by police in riot gear who used pepper spray on some in the crowd. Three were arrested, and the protesters were forced to disband before they were able to make it to the highway.

Several were arrested in New York City on Saturday as protesters marched from City Hall to Union Square, shutting down Fifth Avenue, according to Reuters. On Thursday and Friday nights, activists gathered in different spots across the city, and several were reportedly arrested.

Upstate in Rochester, New York, two black reporters covering protests were taken into custody as police tried to move demonstrators away from an intersection. Demonstrators continued to block the street, ABC News reports, spurring police to begin handcuffing those present, including ABC affiliate reporters Carlet Cleare and Justin Carter. The two were soon released, and the mayor of Rochester has since apologized to the reporters.

CNN reports that marchers in Miami, Atlanta, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and Washington, DC, also took to the streets to protest police brutality.

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