NOPD officers to continue assisting peaceful demonstrations

NOPD continuing to assist peaceful protests

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - New Orleans Police Chief Michael Harrison said his department will have adequate staffing this weekend and will have officers who are familiar with demonstrations to patrol places where people are set to gather.

"It is our duty to make sure that we protect their rights and give them the space to demonstrate. That's exactly what we'll do as we have always done and done really well. This will be no different," Harrison said. "But now we're faced with having to look up and look around to make sure they're are not people attempting to harm us while we protect and serve others. So that's yet just another thing that we are faced with."

On Friday, Yamil Rodriguez held a demonstration at police headquarters. The event was scheduled before the killing of five police officers in Dallas Thursday night. Rodriguez said he understands and respects the loss of those officers, but he did not want to cancel the event in order to promote a dialogue between police and citizens.

"My condolences go out to the families of the police officers, and I don't think any retaliation is productive. It's really just counter productive, but I feel nonetheless we're talking about what happened to Alton [Sterling] and we're talking about what happened in Minnesota. It keeps happening," Rodriguez said. "It's about addressing the issue and yes the police force is the issue. But there are a lot of issues on the table."

"The worst thing you can do is to under react or to overreacted," New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu said.

He urged everyone to show respect for others and called for thoughtful demonstrations that promote peace.

"You can stop things from escalating by being very thoughtful about them. We're in that moment right now where I'm asking every citizen of New Orleans to be very aware and very thoughtful to be respectful of each other," Landrieu said.

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