Hundreds of People, Black and White, Attend Rally for Slain Baton Rouge Officers

Stacey Dykes, left, comforts Whitney Welch at a candlelight vigil for Baton Rouge police officer Montrell Jackson, outside Istrouma High School, where he graduated in 2001, in Baton Rouge, Tuesday, July 19.
Stacey Dykes, left, comforts Whitney Welch at a candlelight vigil for Baton Rouge police officer Montrell Jackson, outside Istrouma High School, where he graduated in 2001, in Baton Rouge, Tuesday, July 19.

The Latest on shootings of six Baton Rouge police officers (all times local):

8 p.m.

Hundreds of people, white and black, attended a rally supporting law-enforcement officers at Baton Rouge police headquarters, about a mile from where three officers were shot to death Sunday morning.

Many in the crowd Tuesday night were bikers, who rumbled past the shooting scene in a long line of motorcycles before the gathering.

Police Lt. Robert McGarner struggled to keep his emotions in check as he stepped up to the microphone to address the crowd.

“Y’all realize what this means to us?” McGarner said. Later, officers bowed their heads as a bugler played taps.

Just down the street, on a corner across from the police station, black activist Redell Norman and a handful of supporters who have protested the police shooting of Alton Sterling held a smaller demonstration that included Black Lives Matters signs and forms for anyone who wanted to register to vote.

“It’s protest with a purpose,” Norman said.


6:30 p.m.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards is hosting a blood donation drive in honor of the three Baton Rouge law enforcement officers shot and killed and three others who were injured in shootings over the weekend.

Edwards, in a news release, said the drive will be held Thursday in conjunction with LifeShare Blood Centers and is open to all state employees and members of the public.

Edwards says he plans to participate.

A LifeShare Blood Centers donation bus will be parked in the state Capitol parking lot near the southwest entrance gate from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.


6 p.m.

Faith and community leaders, black and white, gathered at a Baton Rouge church to discuss ways to improve police relations with local black residents after two weeks of violence in the city.

More than 100 people with Together Baton Rouge held signs Tuesday bearing the words “We refuse to be divided.”

The group condemned recent violence and called for more community policing tactics.

Rev. Lee Wesley says the city needs to look at how potential law officers are vetted. He says people need to show more respect for police officers, but police officers need to show more respect for residents.

Together Baton Rouge’s event came after Alton Sterling, a black man, was shot and killed by white police officers on July 5, followed by the shooting deaths of three law enforcement officers Sunday by a black gunman who appeared to target them.


5:30 p.m.

LSU football coach Les Miles has been visiting with law enforcement in Baton Rouge after an ambush by a lone gunman took the lives of three officers Sunday and wounded three others.

Miles had unannounced, private meetings Tuesday with the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office, which lost a deputy in the fatal shootings, and Baton Rouge Police, which lost two officers.

LSU spokesman Michael Bonnette confirmed the visits with authorities after the coach was seen entering police headquarters, where he spent more than an hour, by The Associated Press.

Bonnette says Miles only wanted to express his support and discuss his appreciation for the courage police show in putting their lives on the line to protect their communities.


4 p.m.

President Barack Obama says Sunday’s killing of three Louisiana law enforcement officers underscores the degree to which Washington must do everything possible to help police officers return home safe at night.

Obama spoke Tuesday after meeting with Attorney General Loretta Lynch, FBI Director James Comey and Homeland SecuritySecretary Jeh Johnson.

He says what happened in Baton Rouge is a reminder of the extraordinary risks and dangers that law enforcement officers take every day “to protect us and our way of life.”

Two police officers and a sheriff’s deputy were killed Sunday after they were ambushed by a lone gunman.

Obama says he’ll use his remaining months as president to figure out which practices work best, and how to help rebuild trust between police and the communities they serve.


1:45 p.m.

Funeral arrangements have been set for two of the three officers killed in Baton Rouge in what police called an ambush by a lone gunman.

Viewings are scheduled Thursday and Friday for Baton Rouge Police Officer Matthew Gerald.

Services will follow the Friday viewing, with burial to occur at Louisiana National Cemetery.

Arrangements also have been made for Baton Rouge Police Cpl. Montrell Jackson. Visitation for Jackson is scheduled Monday, with funeral services to follow.

Services are pending for East Baton Rouge Parish sheriff’s Deputy Brad Garafola.

Police say Gavin Long, a former Marine from Missouri, dressed in black and opened fire on officers Sunday.