The shooting death of Baton Rouge, La. man Alton Sterling on Tuesday (July 5) is the latest in fatal encounters involving a Black person and police officers. In the wake of the video going public, protests have begun to break out in the city and abroad.
Naturally, the outrage over the 37-year-old’s killing has been growing since Tuesday evening. Local NAACP leaders have called for the resignation of the city’s police chief and mayor, and a demand for a focused investigation into the matter has made it to the federal level. The U.S. Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division will take the lead on investigating the shooting, along with the FBI, state police, and the U.S. attorney’s office. Gov. John Bel Edwards said that the video footage of Sterling’s death was disturbing.
According to still developing reports, Sterling was known as the “CD Man” who sold music and DVDs in front of a convenience store. The owner of the establishment allowed Sterling to run his business and said that he was not known to get into fights or have issues with patrons. However, officers said they responded to the scene after reports that Sterling pulled a firearm on a person and a weapon was allegedly found on his person after a struggle.
Protesters have been taking to the Baton Rouge streets since news of the incident began to spread, and it doesn’t appear to be ending anytime soon.