Protesters file suit against multiple agencies following use of tear gas, rubber bullets

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NEW ORLEANS – A class action lawsuit has been filed against state and local law enforcement following a Black Lives Matter protest on the Crescent City Connection last summer.

Demonstrators claim it was a peaceful protest until police used excessive force.

The lawsuit names the top leaders at NOPD, State Police and The Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office along with 40 NOPD officers and commanders.

NOPD admits officers used tear gas and fired rubber bullets on protesters during the June 3 demonstration. Protesters said they were standing up against racial injustice, standing up against the death of George Floyd and standing up against the death of “so many others.”

The suit claims law enforcement violated rights guaranteed by the First, Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments. Attorneys for the protesters said once the officers tear gassed the crowd, the situation escalated into what they call a form of “civil unrest on to of an elevated highway.”

Attorneys for the protesters said multiple people were injured.

Six months following the protests, NOPD Superintendent Shaun Ferguson discussed the results of an internal investigation into his officers’ actions. Ferguson said at the time, “There was no policy in place.”

The lawsuit seeks monetary damages and disciplinary action against the officers.

WGNO reached out to NOPD, JPSO and State Police for comment and we were told by each agency that they do not comment on pending litigation.

To read the full lawsuit, click here.

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