Protesters accused of pepper-spraying police and blocking traffic outside Pine Prairie ICE facility

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PINE PRAIRIE, La. (KLFY)- Police are now looking for suspects accused of pepper-spraying police officers at the Pine Prairie protest outside of an ICE detention facility on August 14, 2020.

Several protesters that day were questioning why the department decided to use force.

News 10 was told that force was necessary after police were pepper-sprayed and protesters refused to move out of the road and were obstructing traffic.

“They did try to go into the roadway to try and obstruct the highway and that’s when officers and deputies kind of started pushing them off the highway to keep them off the roadway and to keep the highway open,” Pine Prairie detective Joshua Uhlman said. “That’s when an altercation occurred and it was handled pretty quickly.”

The altercation escalated when officers were pepper-sprayed, authorities said.

The Evangeline Parish Sheriff said there three officers were impacted. Police are investigating how many people were involved in the altercation. Those involved could be charged with battery on a police officer, Uhlman said.

Protestors also claimed they were punched by police officers, however, no reports have been made according to the Pine Prairie Police Department.

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