Cops in New Orleans Accused of Excessive Force During Anti-War Protest Arrests

On Sunday night, a brawl broke out as police tried to rid the famous tourist destination of pro-Palestine protestors in New Orleans’ historic French Quarter, leading to the arrest of twelve individuals.

In Jackson Square, around thirty Palestinian supporters erected ten green tents surrounding the monument of Andrew Jackson, hoisted Palestinian flags, and exhibited placards. At around 5 p.m., officers from the New Orleans Police Department, positioned on a walkway near the monument, reacted to the demonstration.

Eyewitnesses and video indicate that police utilized batons and tasers on protesters who had gathered in the Park. The incident occurred at 7 p.m. when the square closes every night. Protesters resisted officers’ attempts to clear the area, striking officers with various items.

That evening, footage circulated on social media showing police arresting a small number of protestors in the square at twilight, throwing some to the ground in a scuffle. Two sources with firsthand knowledge of the detainees said that three individuals sought medical attention as a consequence.

Five cops were taken to the hospital after “receiving blows” during the demonstration; however, all five are claimed to be in stable condition, according to a news release from the New Orleans police. “Hate crimes on law enforcement” were the charges against two of the individuals who were detained.

Roughly fifty individuals began to lay out blankets and tents on the grass of Jackson Square Park at approximately four in the afternoon on Sunday. A member of the audience said that the gathering had families, artists, and queers among its members.

Protester Kinsey, who preferred to use by their first name for fear of reprisal, said that the demonstrators were standing in solidarity with the students throughout the nation. Numerous encampments have sprung up on campuses nationwide after the first one at Columbia University two weeks ago, which demanded divestment from Israel. Since the encampments started, about a thousand students have been detained nationwide.

Allegedly amounting to genocide, Israel’s attack on Gaza has resulted in the deaths of 34,000 Palestinians, the majority of whom are women and children. Around 7 p.m., is when the mood shifted toward violence.