Gov. Edwards said state citizens handled themselves well during George Floyd protests
BATON ROUGE, La. (WVUE) - Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said he appreciates the peaceful protesting across the state considering the death of George Floyd.
He called the man’s death at the hands of police “terribly wrong and completely and easily avoidable” in a statement released Saturday.
Protests across the country have been mixed since the Minneapolis man’s death on May 25.
Some protesters have been peaceful, others vocal and some have been called agitators.
Police blame the agitators for criminal damage and rioting.
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Louisiana faced similar unrest in 2017 when confederate monuments were taken down, but the demonstrations were mostly peaceful.
“A little less than four years ago, Louisiana experienced similar protests and I can tell you that Louisiana citizens then handled themselves very appropriately with the way they demonstrated,” Edwards said. “I want to thank them and tell them we want to work with them moving forward and make sure that everyone can exercise their first amendment rights and concerns which are obviously sincere but that we protect one another when we do that and we don't engage in violence and property damage and those sorts of things.”
The governor said the state is working with local and federal officials to monitor protests and stay in front of developments.
He pointed to a reformed criminal justice system, like what was provided by the federal consent decree in New Orleans.
“We’ve also worked to improve the relationship in the community and law enforcement and law enforcement has changed the way it’s trained it’s officers,” he said.
Edwards made the remarks during a news conference about most of the state moving to Phase 2 of the coronavirus recovery.
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