The Latest: Governor defends police tactics in protests

The Latest on protests in Louisiana over the shooting death of a black man in a struggle with two white Baton Rouge police officers (all times local):

11:30 a.m.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards says he remains pleased with the police response to protests of the shooting death of Alton Sterling by police officers. The weekend protests led to nearly 200 arrests and a show of force from law enforcement.

The Democratic governor, who comes from a family of sheriffs, characterized the response as "moderate."

Critics have questioned the riot gear and weaponry carried by police officers, saying it's out of line with keeping protests from becoming violent. But Edwards pushed back against such suggestions Tuesday.

He referenced the shootings of police officers during a protest in Dallas on Thursday and said police officers need to be able to defend themselves.

The governor says a Baton Rouge police officer had teeth knocked out with a rock thrown by protesters. He said that if officers don't use riot gear, "you have no defense against that sort of thing."

Sterling, a black man, was shot and killed by white officers last week.


10:45 a.m.

A prominent Black Lives Matter activist arrested in Louisiana while protesting the killing of a black man during a struggle with white police officers says he is returning to Baltimore.

DeRay Mckesson said on his Twitter account Tuesday that a judge had granted his request to leave Louisiana and he would be back in Baltimore later in the day.

Tensions have been rising since last week's killing of Alton Sterling outside a convenience store in Baton Rouge.

The 31-year-old Mckesson was arrested Saturday on a charge of obstructing a highway.

A police affidavit of probable cause says Mckesson "intentionally" placed himself in the road after protesters were repeatedly warned by loudspeaker to remain on private property or the curb.

McKesson was released from jail on Sunday.


2:16 a.m.

Baton Rouge's top prosecutor is weighing whether to pursue charges against nearly 200 demonstrators arrested in weekend protests over the killings of young black men as criticism mounts by protesters over the tactics officers used on the crowds.

Police made nearly 200 arrests in Louisiana's capital city during weekend protests, which are growing across the country as people express outrage over deaths at the hands of police.

East Baton Rouge District Attorney Hillar C. Moore III says any decisions on charges against the protesters will be made on a case-by-case basis.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana said Monday that Baton Rouge police "used violent, militarized tactics on groups of people who have gathered peacefully in protest of Alton Sterling's killing."