Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Nature, and Politics

Justice Department to Investigate Alton Sterling Shooting

Sterling is the 122nd Black person to be killed by U.S. law enforcement this year.

The US Department of Justice announced on Wednesday that it has launched a civil rights investigation into the police shooting of Alton Sterling, 37, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Details surrounding the July 5 fatal shooting continue to emerge. In reaction, ACLU of Louisiana Executive Director Marjorie Esman issued the following statement:

“Alton Sterling was shot to death while he was on the ground and two police officers were on top of him. Sadly, Mr. Sterling is the 122nd Black person to be killed by U.S. law enforcement this year.

“As we await a full accounting of the shooting, questions abound: Why did the officer shoot — multiple times — when Mr. Sterling was already being subdued? How did Mr. Sterling end up with gunshots in his chest and his back? What happened to cause both officers’ body cameras to fall off during the same incident?

“Whatever the answers to these specific questions may be, they will not explain or excuse the continued use of excessive force by law enforcement officers across the country, particularly against people of color. We stand in solidarity with Mr. Sterling’s family and look forward to answers from the Department of Justice’s investigation of the shooting.”

Video footage appears to show two white police officers shooting Sterling multiple times while holding him on the ground.

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Alton Sterling

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[Email subscribers may click on the title of this article to view video.]

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