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NOPD Releases Bodycam Footage Showing Use Of Force With Protesters On The Crescent City Connection

The city council is holding a committee hearing into how police broke up last Wednesday's protests in New Orleans.
Travis Lux
/
WWNO
The city council is holding a committee hearing into how police broke up last Wednesday's protests in New Orleans.

The New Orleans Police Department released edited video from officer body cameras of the events on the Crescent City Connection last week during a press conference Wednesday afternoon.

Superintendent Shaun Ferguson again defended the use of tear gas and rubber pellets to use to disperse protesters on the bridge, calling them “less than lethal tools.” 

One video showed a protester holding an NOPD shield; another featured a demonstrator throwing a tear gas canister back at police, causing several officers to cough.

"Part of this crowd was violent. They had every intention to have an encounter with our officers,” Ferguson said.

Ferguson added that most of the protesters were peaceful and blamed “agitators” for forcing police to break up the protest.

The department initially denied the use of anything other than tear gas, as people present at the protests were reporting the use of projectiles and sharing photos of what they found.

The tools and techniques used by NOPD to disperse demonstrators at the bridge have come under increasing scrutiny. Ferguson declined to discuss the details of the use of teargas and rubber balls, saying it was under investigation.

But Ferguson reiterated his belief that NOPD acted properly and said the department promotes deescalation. 

“We are leading the country in 21st-century constitutional policing,” he said. “We are better trained, we are better equipped, and we are highly motivated to do what is just and right for the citizens of New Orleans."

A City Council committee that oversees NOPD will hold a hearing to discuss the incident Thursday.

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Patrick was the Regional News Director for the news collaboration between WRKF Baton Rouge and WWNO New Orleans, from 2019 through 2023.