An emotional, at times angry, evening unfolded in the working class, predominantly black Louisiana neighborhood where the police killing of a black man was caught on video.
Hundreds of mourners, friends and family members of Alton Sterling, 37, gathered Wednesday in Baton Rouge for a second night of protest, prayer and remembrance.
Sterling was shot early Tuesday as he wrestled with two white police officers outside the convenience store where he sold music and movies on compact discs. Police say he was armed.
Cellphone video of the shooting posted online by a community activist set off angry protests, coming at a time when law enforcement officers across the country are under close scrutiny over what some see as indiscriminate use of deadly force against blacks.
Moving quickly to keep tensions from boiling over, Democratic Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards asked the U.S. Justice Department to lead a civil rights investigation into the killing.
“I have very serious concerns. The video is disturbing, to say the least,” the governor said at a news conference.
Sandra Augustus, an aunt who helped raise Sterling after his mother died, spoke to the crowds Wednesday night with a tearful, broken voice.
She said a second video that emerged showing the moments before her nephew was shot left her angry.
“I’m angry, but I’m not angry enough to hurt nobody,” Augustus said. “I’m not angry enough to go into the street. I’m not angry enough to curse the police out. But I’m angry and I’m mad because they took something from me that I never ever will get back.”
Terrance Carter, Sterling’s 28-year-old nephew, wore a T-shirt with his uncle’s image printed on it. The police, he charged, went way too far.
“They did it wrong,” he said. “They could have handled it better than they did. They didn’t have to shoot him!”
He said, though, the family was not condoning violent protests. Continue Reading
Article Org: chicagotribune.com