Pastor Westley West, one of the protesters who last week attempted to stop traffic during the first motions hearing in the Freddie Gray case, was arrested by Baltimore Police last night and charged with attempting to incite a riot, malicious destruction of property, disorderly conduct, disturbance of the peace, false imprisonment, and failure to obey, according to a late-night press release from BPD.
Christie Ileto of WJZ obtained video of West leaving his church to meet waiting police officers.
In its press release, the Baltimore Police Department outlined with great detail West's actions during a small protest on Sept. 2 and released video taken by Foxtrot during the action.
At issue is the moment West walked onto East Pratt Street and attempted to stop a red 2008 Ford F150 pickup truck. Police say West appeared to be "attempting to stop the red F150 under his own manpower." They also say: "After leaning his body into the front bumper area of the vehicle, Mr. West stepped slightly away from the vehicle and proceeded to yell into the bullhorn that he had in his possession. Mr. West appeared to be agitated and his observed actions were violent and hostile in nature."
As City Paper reported, the protest was immediately declared illegal by Baltimore Police and that West "appeared to have left soon after police arrived, something that a number of activists angrily noted." West's tactics during last April's protests also proved controversial among activists.
However, last night's arrest seemed to galvanize protesters on social media, some of whom had called out West several days prior.
Last night, after the charges were announced, activist group Baltimore Bloc tweeted, "Wesley West is a fraud but these charges are clearly excessive and unwarranted."
A little later they said: