DeRay Mckesson, Willow Smith, and Others Mourn Alton Sterling
At 12:35 AM on Tuesday night in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, two police officers approached Alton Sterling, 37, outside of a Triple S Food Mart where he was selling CDs. Minutes later, Sterling was thrown on the ground and shot multiple times in the back and chest until he died. His vicious death at the hands of police officers makes him the 558th person to be killed by police officers in the United States in 2016.
Hours after his murder, graphic cell phone video of his death surfaced, sparking a fresh wave of outrage. You can see the video here but, again, it is disturbing. The two officers involved in the murder have been placed on administrative leave, Black Lives Matter protests have erupted across the country, the Justice Department and F.B.I. have launched an official investigation, and we have all been reminded of the stark reality facing people of color in this country.
“This incident is only one incident in many. What we’re going to do is root out the 1% of bad police officers that go around being the judge, the jury and executioner of innocent people, period, but more specifically, innocent black lives… I’m calling on anybody in this city with any backbone to go and arrest those two officers,” Michael McClanahan, the president of the NAACP’s branch in Baton Rouge, said to reporters. “If the system will work for anybody, let it work for them, too.”
As we mourn the life of Alton Sterling and the hundreds of other people killed by police this year, DeRay Mckesson, Chloe and Halle Bailey, Willow Smith, Zendaya, and more have taken to social media to speak out about this tragic epidemic of violence. Here’s what they had to say.
You know, that's what gets me when I see these videos these days. It's the ease w/ which we are killed that gets me. #AltonSterling
— deray mckesson (@deray) July 6, 2016
rip #AltonSterling …this shatters my heart into a million pieces
— chloe x halle (@chloeandhalle) July 6, 2016
How many more times must this happen for us to matter? How many more must we lose?
BLACK. LIVES. MATTER. #AltonSterling
— Zendaya (@Zendaya) July 6, 2016
— Rev Jesse Jackson Sr (@RevJJackson) July 6, 2016
— MC HAMMER (@MCHammer) July 6, 2016
#AltonSterling. Say his name.
— Samira Wiley (@samirawiley) July 6, 2016
Said it once and I'll say it a million times. As a black American I fear the police way more than Isis.
— Charlamagne Tha God (@cthagod) July 6, 2016
— Sherri Shepherd (@SherriEShepherd) July 6, 2016
Stay tuned to Milk for more on this developing story.
Images via NBC News and The Guardian