BATON ROUGE–At a press conference Tuesday, law enforcement revealed that the Saturday theft of eight handguns from a Cash America Pawn Store on Government Street had a sinister purpose: “get bullets to harm police officers.”
Baton Rouge Police Chief Carl Dabadie said that this incident represented a “viable” and “credible” threat. Seven of the eight handguns have been recovered and three of the four suspects have been taken into custody, and Joseph Belisle, Resident Agent for ATF, said that their agents were working around the clock to find the missing suspect and guns.
During the press conference, law-enforcement officials continually reiterated that their primary goal is protecting the public as well as police officers. The officials said that one of their primary goals was protecting the First Amendment rights of the protesters.
Sid Gautreaux III, East Baton Rouge Parish’s sheriff, said that this event influenced recent shows of police force:
Several times over the past three or four days, we’ve all been asked numerous times by numerous individuals, “why the show of force?” “Why are y’all responding in the manner in which you are?” We couldn’t say, and we wouldn’t say, because of an investigation going on, but what you saw is a response because of the very real and viable threats against law enforcement. All I can say beyond that is: look what happened in Dallas. A very peaceful protest, and then some crazy madman did what he did. So I think the threat speaks for itself. We can’t take anything for granted anymore. We can’t take anything for granted anymore. Our goal has always been and it always will be to protect and serve the public, all of the public, including those who have a right to peacefully protest. But we’re also going to protect our rights as law enforcement officers sworn to uphold and protect those laws.
Breitbart News has been on the scene in Baton Rouge since the day after the first protest broke out one week ago and has reported on the escalating nature of the clashes between police and protesters.
Law enforcement in Louisiana’s capital city has been forced to juggle the demands of protesters and politicians, including Baton Rouge Mayor Kip Holden — who has been noticeably absent throughout. The result has been a lack of clear rules of engagement that has heightened tensions between the police and protesters.
Outside agitators continue to stream into Baton Rouge, including the New Black Panther Party and radical activists from New Orleans, Florida, and other locations, while the mainstream media has blanketed their coverage with false information promoted by radical leftists driving an anti-American, anti-police agenda.
Residents have told Breitbart News that they are concerned that the outsider’s influence combined with the pre-existing tensions between the community and law enforcement would lead to more violence. This new announcement gives credence to resident’s fears.