NEW ORLEANS – On June 3rd, 2020, an altercation broke out between New Orleans police officers and protesters after hundreds tried to cross the Crescent City Connection. The NOPD said -after a 30-minute negotiation- officers threw tear gas and shot rubber balls. An investigation into the matter has been ongoing. On Monday morning, the results were revealed.
“The command officer who was on the scene that night did not give approval for the rubber balls,” said NOPD Superintendent Shaun Ferguson.
Ferguson confirms, after more than six months of investigating, officers were not at fault for firing off rubber balls.
“Our department did not have a policy in place to guide a response to protests which resulted in department failures on the bridge that night,” Ferguson explained. “With that being said, we have implemented a new policy governing our response to protests which ensures specialized weapons such as tear gas will only be used as a last resort where life is in danger.”
“Accountability and transparency and you won’t have people going up on your bridge to get you to pay attention to them,” said activist AShonta Wyatt.
“We’ll continue to implement future training involving de-escalation as well as communication especially for communicating in crowds,” Ferguson said.