Today social media is on fire after numerous users have seen the clip of two Baton Rouge Police Officers shooting a Black man they had pinned down. His name is Alton Sterling, and he was 37 years old. The video is graphic. It is heartbreaking. And it’s a clear case of police brutality. Check it out below:
Baton Rouge. This is police shooting and killing this Black man -37 year old Alton Sterling – who was simply selling CDs.
This is murder.
Posted by Shaun King on Tuesday, July 5, 2016
When news first broke of the shooting, the Baton Rouge Police Department (BRPD) claimed that the body cameras the officers were wearing both fell off (convenient). Eventually the video surfaced, and it has been shared around the social sphere. The two officers who shot this man have been placed on administrative leave, but it will be surprising if something happens to the officers. History shows us that they will be set free. The same system that made it okay for those officers to think they could kill Mr. Sterling will most likely get them off the hook.
Now there is an investigation, and it is now a federal civil rights case. According to People, the investigation has been handed over from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to federal authorities for a civil rights investigation. The Governor of Louisiana has full confidence that the matter will be investigated throughly, impartially and fairy, and that’s the way he will demand it be conducted. In a statement, Justice Department Spokesperson David Jacobs said, “The FBI’s New Orleans Division, the Civil Rights Division and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Louisiana have opened a civil rights investigation into the death of Alton Sterling. The Justice Department will collect all available facts and evidence and conduct a fair, thorough and impartial investigation. As this is an ongoing investigation we are not able to comment further at this time.”
An eye witness has come forth saying that he believes the situation was handled incorrectly. According to the New York Daily News, the owner of the store, Abdullah Muflahi, witnessed the entire event. Muflahi said Sterling was screaming, “What did I do?” and “What’s going on?” He also said that Sterling didn’t have a gun in his hand, and that he wasn’t reaching for it. Muflahi also confirmed that the police confiscated the store’s survelliance footage which would show every second of shooting.
With the current evidence and the witness’ testimony, it’s clear these two officers murdered this man.Now there are kids, multiple family members, countless friends, and a community left to scrape together the pieces. There are no words to describe what they must feel.
MSNBC aired a video of Sterling’s oldest child and the child’s mother, Quinyetta McMillion, addressing his death. It’s hard to watch the video and not cry. His son breaks down as the mother continues to talk about the tragedy that occurred. “As a mother, I am forced to raise a son who is going to remember what happened to his father. That I can’t take away from him,” McMillion said. “He is at an age of understanding. I hurt more for him and his loss as a parent. One of the greatest fears is to see your child hurt and know there’s nothing you can do.” You can watch the video below:
It’s just so saddening. How do you think this will all play out? Weigh in below:
Bryant Smith is the founder and owner of The Top Tea.