New Orleans – After four hours of mostly peaceful demonstrations, protesters walking on the GNO bridge across the Mississippi were dispersed with tear gas.
At 11:30 pm, Wednesday night (June 3) the NOPD confirmed on Twitter that their officers fired the tear gas.
“The NOPD deployed tear gas tonight to disperse protesters after the crowd refused to comply with three orders not to attempt to walk across the CCC (Crescent City Connection).”
A later tweet from the NOPD said: “Escalation and confrontation hurts us all. NOPD is committed to respectful protection of our residents’ First Amendment rights. However, tonight we were compelled to deploy gas on the CCC in response to escalating physical confrontation with our officers.”
“Video from the scene shows a large cloud of gas coming from what appears to be the Tchoupitoulas on-ramp to the bridge. Protesters can be seen grabbing their eyes and shouting for water.
Sound removed from video due to profanity.
WGNO’s Jacob Bradford, on the scene, says protesters tell him that the tear gas was unprovoked. They said that as they were walking toward a line of NOPD officers on the bridge, the police started firing the tear gas.
But others told Bradford that the NOPD warned protesters not to come any farther across the bridge. When the protesters continued to walk, they say the NOPD fired the tear gas.
No reports yet of any injuries.
We will update this story with more information as it becomes available.