Monument protest

Demonstrators again gathered in front of the Confederate monument, demanding its removal from the grounds of the Caddo Parish courthouse.

SHREVEPORT, La. -- A hearing to determine the future of the Confederate monument outside the Caddo Parish courthouse ended without a ruling.

Meantime, outside court in front of that monument, there was a gathering of at least two groups of protesters -- both of them against the monument. Most of the demonstrators today stood peacefully in front of the monument itself.

Another smaller group, some of them armed, stood across Texas Street. Louisiana is an open carry state.

The leader of the armed men, Nicky Daniels, says the group is the Sleep Is For The Rich Gun Club.

Three Shreveport Police officers eventually showed up to keep an eye on things from across McNeil Street.

Pastor Linus Mayes, with the group Community Congress for Systemic Justice, says all of today's demonstrators are united for one cause.

"We don't support violence. We're against anybody committing violence," Mayes said. "But we need to make a showing that if the Daughters of the Confederacy have their rights according to the first amendment, then we ought to be able to stand here with our guns as well to show that we will not be intimidated nor threatened."

He was referring to Saturday. That was when a small group of those who want the Confederate monument to stay were openly carrying firearms. They faced off across the street from demonstrators who want the monument removed. Some of the anti-monument crowd were also openly carrying weapons.

There was a closer police presence on Saturday. There was no counter protest on Tuesday.

Inside the courthouse Tuesday, District Judge Craig Marcotte deferred a decision on extending a temporary restraining order, stopping Caddo Parish from removing the monument. Attorneys for both sides think that a ruling could come in a matter of days.

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