Dramatic rescues have become common place this week in flood stricken neighborhoods across Louisiana. Approximately 40,000 homes in southeastern Louisiana have been left damaged or destroyed in flooding, which Gov. John Bel Edwards today described as “unprecedented” and “historic.”
Edwards said that over 20,000 people have been rescued and about 8,000 were in shelters Monday night.
Baton Rouge has recently been the center of racial tension in the United States after the police shooting of Alton Sterling. Sterling, a 37-year-old black man with a lengthy criminal record, was shot several times by two Baton Rouge Police Department officers. Police were responding to a report that a man had used a gun to threaten someone outside a convenience store. The shooting was recorded by multiple bystanders and showed that Alton Sterling was in possession of a handgun at the time of his death.
The shooting led to protests in Baton Rouge and a request for a civil rights investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice.
On July 9, a protest in Baton Rouge turned violent, with one police officer having several teeth knocked out and eight firearms (including three rifles, three shotguns, and two pistols) being confiscated from New Black Panther Party members. Police arrested 102 people. On July 10, between 30 and 40 people were arrested.
Professor Peniel E. Joseph, founding director of the Center for the Study of Race and Democracy at Tufts University, editorialized that “the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile evoke the past spectacle of lynching.”
On July 11, a home in Baton Rouge was raided in connection with a pawn shop burglary in which seven or eight guns and ammunition were stolen. Three people were arrested during the raid, one of whom said that the group was planning on using the stolen firearms to shoot police officers at protests.
On July 17, Gavin Eugene Long shot and killed three police officers and wounded several others in Baton Rouge. Long was killed at the scene during a shootout with responding officers. The shooting has been linked to the nationwide tension over race and policing, with the event happening days after Sterling’s death in the same city.
Since the death of those three heroic police officers, pundits and race baiters on the left have continued to vilify the Baton Rouge Police Department. Despite the onslaught from the media and politicians alike, the fine police officers of Baton Rouge have shown (once again) their color blind dedication to the community and people they serve. On behalf of like minded Americans across the country I’d like to say, Thank You Baton Rouge PD.