Safety & Compliance

Black Lives Matter Protests Shut Down Highways

July 11, 2016

By Deborah Lockridge

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Some truckers found themselves in a sticky situation over the weekend as protesters angry about recent police killings tried to block highways, and in some cases succeeded. Photos show protesters climbing on top of tractors and trailers in some locations.

The shooting deaths of Philando Castile in St. Paul, Minn., and Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, La., have, as ABC News put it, “set off a tumultuous chain of events and ignited a fierce debate over police tactics and race relations that continues to roil communities across the nation.”

In St. Paul late Saturday night, protesters caused an hours-long shutdown on part of I-94 west of downtown. Hundreds of protesters were spread across the eastbound and westbound lanes, according to published reports, with many throwing objects at police, who eventually used smoke to help disperse the crowd. About 50 protesters were arrested on I-94 and some police officers were injured.

In Memphis, Tenn., I-40 was blocked in both directions for about four hours Sunday evening after more than 1,000 people occupied the bridge over the Mississippi River.

Demonstrators in Oakland, Calif., blocked traffic along Interstate 880 Thursday night. Although the California Highway Patrol issued an alert around 9 p.m. asking drivers to use alternate routes, and commercial trucks were given permission to use Interstate Highway 580 on a temporary basis, some trucks were still stuck in the mess.

In Baton Rouge, La., police kept a group of protesters from entering I-110 late Sunday after a lengthy standoff. Some 30 to 40 people were taken into custody for trying to block a highway. One striking image of that confrontation, of a woman in a dress being confronted by police in riot gear, has gone viral on social media. Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said at a late weekend news conference that he didn’t believe using riot gear to push protesters away from highway ramps was overly aggressive, according to the Associated Press.

In Southern California late Sunday night, protesters shut down a major intersection and blocked traffic on the 405 Freeway for several minutes.

In Atlanta Friday night, police kept protesters from entering the Interstate, but one local trucker on his regular route was caught in the downtown protest. WSB-TV2 in Atlanta spoke by phone with Chris Golden, who used the opportunity to promote his business as a recording artist. Footage showed people climbing on top of his truck and trailers, but Golden was supportive of the protesters, saying it was “all about unity,” noting that black and white protesters were both involved, calling it “a beautiful sight.”

On social media, some truckers said they wouldn't be so understanding and suggested they would not stop for protesters.


  1. 1. Victor Gabris [ July 12, 2016 @ 03:37AM ]

    Every protester blocking interstate highways should arrested for interfering with Comercial freight movements on our highways. What has that got to do with black lives matter and what the hell is the meaning of blocking interstates. This country is heading down the wrong path and I support the police officers that are putting their lives in harms way to keep law and order in our country.

  2. 2. Steve [ July 12, 2016 @ 06:10AM ]

    Give them an inch and they will take a mile give them a mile and they will take 10. Sound Familiar. The time has come to put all these Law Breakers Behind Bars. starting at the very Top

  3. 3. Gary [ July 12, 2016 @ 06:28AM ]

    We have become a country where the rule of law does not matter. Starting with the FBI and it's decision to not recommend charges against Hillary Clinton. So the people most likely to vote for her are breaking the law by blocking interstates. How do you justify prosecuting them when the rule of law does not apply any more? Selective enforcement of the law has brought us to this point. We are slowly becoming a corrupt country where the people in power decide what is right instead of following the law.

  4. 4. Fed up [ July 12, 2016 @ 09:59AM ]

    These people are breaking the law. They should be arrested. And if they do not have sense to not act like animals, bring out the firehoses. No I am not a racist. I am fed up with this kind of activity.

  5. 5. SQ609 [ July 12, 2016 @ 12:58PM ]

    And I'm all for arresting officers who break the law as well. They shouldn't get a pass because of a uniform and some boys in blue brotherhood. And we need those good officers to weed out those bad officers that make all the good ones look bad. Nobody wants to speak on that. Now I'm a sit back and watch the racist spew their hatred...

  6. 6. Jo [ July 12, 2016 @ 01:33PM ]

    There is a fine line between making a case for your issues and endangering public safety. This definitely crosses the line. You are not creating an inconvenience, you are endangering the public. And the public comes in all colors.

  7. 7. Truckguy [ July 13, 2016 @ 05:07AM ]

    Many of the protesters were arrested.

  8. 8. Chris Golden [ July 14, 2016 @ 07:39AM ]

    I am the driver of that truck thanks for all your comments

  9. 9. JW IN THE DESERT [ July 16, 2016 @ 03:38PM ]



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