- In the wake of the police killing of Trayford Pellerin in Lafayette, protestors this week took to city hall to demand justice.
- Amid rumors that a hate group was poised to disrupt the peaceful protest, a report claims that armed members of a Louisiana militia came down to protect the protestors.
The senseless and tragic killing of George Floyd this past June arguably marked a turning point in modern-day U.S. history. In what seemed like a blink of an eye, police violence and racial inequality became national topics of conversation to a degree we haven’t seen in quite some time.
Nearly three months later, the protests over police violence and racial inequality haven’t died down. If anything, the issues have taken on a newfound significance in light of the ongoing strife in Portland, and more recently, in Kenosha, Wisconsin. With tensions in the U.S. arguably at an all-time high, protestors in some areas have found themselves confronted by extreme right-wing groups. The end result often isn’t pretty and only serves to enlarge the chasm between the left and the right.
That said, we recently stumbled across a somewhat peculiar story from The Acadiana Advocate which relays how armed members of the Louisiana Cajun Militia recently went down to Lafayette City Hall with the intent purpose to protect peaceful protestors advocating for racial justice following the fatal killing of Trayford Pellerin.
The Daily Advertiser reports:
Trayford Pellerin was shot and killed on Aug. 21 by Lafayette police officers who were responding to a disturbance involving a person armed with a knife.
Since the 31-year-old Black man’s death, protests have erupted in the city with demonstrators calling for transparency in the investigation and the firing of the officers involved. Marchers have blocked traffic on major thoroughfares and have protested outside city hall, at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and the federal courthouse.
Incidentally, Al Sharpton is slated to travel down to Lafayette next week to speak at Pellerin’s funeral.
As to the militia members who opted to protect the protestors, the report notes:
The group of 40 to 50 men stood about 100 yards from protesters that included representatives of Black Lives Matter and other critics of Lafayette Police.
The men said they were there to make sure protesters are protected and allowed to exercise their right to protest peacefully.
A representative of the self-described militia said that they came down to protect the protestors amid rumors that a hate group was planning to come down and disrupt the otherwise peaceful protest and calls for justice.
It’s worth noting that the militia has gotten into disputes with groups over the removal of confederate statues in the past, which is to say that, again, this is quite a peculiar story involving unlikely allies.
The Louisiana Cajun Militia is a regulated volunteer militia that was formed about four years ago because of conflicts over Confederate monuments in the state. McComas said the members quarreled with Antifa and Black Lives Matter in that conflict.
Despite that disagreement, McComas said, the militia has respect for all races and religions and believes they all have the same rights, including the right to bear arms and the right to free speech.
We haven’t seen expansive coverage on this story, so it’s hard to say just how much of it is accurate or if it was nothing more than a publicity stunt. Still, with tensions across the country nearing a boiling point in recent weeks, any type of news involving people coming together is more than welcome.