Police in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, have just been caught executing a man in cold blood on cellphone video. The victim, Alton Sterling, was thirty-seven years old and was selling music CDs outside of a convenience store before getting involved in a minor altercation.
Information is sketchy right now, but apparently an anonymous caller told the police he was armed. The cops arrived on the scene, used Taser devices to incapacitate Mr. Sterling and tackled him to the ground- but apparently that wasn’t enough, as an officer then shot the man at point blank range while he was lying on the ground, held down by other officers.
At least five shots were fired. Mr. Sterling died at the scene. The Advocate reports that Mr. Sterling suffered multiple gunshot wounds to his back and chest.
Protests have broken out over the incident, which at first glance appears to be yet another egregious act of summary execution by police officers of a black male after a minor altercation. In a state with extraordinarily loose gun laws, it begs the question of why Republican legislators insist on putting weapons into the hands of civilians which then are used to justify the point-blank murder of minority citizens.
According to the Washington Post, nearly 500 Americans have been killed by police officers halfway through this year – on track to meet last year’s particularly bloody toll of almost a thousand citizens executed by police officers without trial or charge.
Watch the video of the incident below – WARNING – Will be disturbing to all:
Images of the protests:
— Tanzia Amjad (@TanziaAmjad) July 6, 2016
— Anarcho Anon (@AnarchoAnon) July 6, 2016
— Brittany S. Carr (@Bzzy_Bee) July 6, 2016
Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.