NEW ORLEANS – The NOPD is still investigating why their officers used rubber balls during last Wednesday’s protest.
In the meantime, NOPD Superintendent Shaun Ferguson and his team demonstrated how and why ammunition and tear gas was being used.
Last week, while protesters in New Orleans marched to the Crescent City Connection, the NOPD superintendent admits, his officers did fire 60 caliber rubber balls into the crowd.
“There was a confrontation and there were some individuals that were agitators in the front,” Ferguson said. “As we release more videos, we’re gonna educate you more as to what actually transpired.”
New Orleans Police Department Sergeant, Todd Morrell said, bodycam footage shows that rubber balls were blasted from about 30 yards away. “Which is significantly further than the suggested range,” Morrell noted.
Ferguson says, during the protest, people stole shields, helmets and radios which is why officers may have used rubber bullets – to quickly disperse the crowd.
“That gives credibility, there was a physical encounter,” said Ferguson.
Ferguson also shared, he believes the officers that shot the rubber balls on Wednesday night have been identified. However, their names haven’t been released as this investigation is still underway.
“This is a fluid situation to say what this officer did, what that officer did,” the superintendent shared. “We’re just tryna give you information that we can so you can actually understand what occurred that night. We have not used these [rubber bullets] in years. We don’t ever, ever want to have to escalate to using that or tear gas.”
Ferguson also says, the NOPD plan to share bodycam footage from last Wednesday’s incident tomorrow.