Black Man In Baton Rouge, Alton Sterling, Becomes Hashtag
it's going to be that kind of day
Tuesday, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, a 37-year-old black man named Alton Sterling was selling CDs. Police found a gun in his pocket, after they restrained him and shot him point blank in the back and the chest.
There is video at the link above; I don't feel like having a murder on this page today.
It is of course too soon to rush to judgment; all of the facts aren't in; there is just the one video, of Sterling being wrestled unwillingly to the ground -- stop resisting! STOP RESISTING! -- and then shot, point blank, multiple times, then he died. Those cops might have been in danger, I guess. Anything is possible.
CNN's Alisyn Camerota just kept asking his family if Alton Sterling was a violent man.
They ran his mug shot too.
Pious white people on Twitter and Facebook will admonish everyone to wait, we don't have all the facts yet -- and some of them may eventually be exculpatory, who knows! After Michael Brown was shot and killed in Ferguson, and footage of him manhandling a convenience store clerk came out, I was of the unpopular opinion that yes, that video made it more likely that the young man had reached for the policeman's gun, as the policeman had claimed. A young man brimming with testosterone can do a lot of idiot things while his brain shuts off completely. Some of you may have met a young man before.
Michael Brown's death, to me, was ambiguous. There was no video, we couldn't know. But there was video for Eric Garner as he was choked to death in New York, and video as cops shot 12-year-old Tamir Rice within two seconds of rolling up on him and his BB gun in Cleveland, and now Alton Sterling, on the ground, in Baton Rouge. Walter Scott was running away -- almost comically slowly, except that it wasn't funny when the cop shot him in the back for us all to witness. That policeman is being charged with his murder. He might actually get convicted, if you can even believe it.
The policemen in Baton Rouge who got Alton Sterling to the ground before one of them shot him, point blank, in the back and the chest, are on administrative leave. They might even be charged with his murder. Anything is possible, even a cop's conviction for shooting a black man. Just because it hasn't happened yet doesn't mean someday it won't. Oh wait, this one cop was convicted of manslaughter, for shooting Akai Gurley. Looks like he got community service.
Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards calls it "disturbing" and "difficult circumstances" and calls for unity and community; he says the FBI and the DOJ's Civil Rights Division will investigate.
This is Alton Sterling's 15-year-old son. He is crying for his father.
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) July 6, 2016
I am often in favor of waiting for the facts. But we just saw the facts, with our eyeballs, we saw them right there. I guess we can't see both of his hands and both of his feet at all times. Maybe he was going for his gun with his feet. The shop owner who saw it all says cops pulled Sterling's gun from his pocket after the fact. But they were shouting gun, gun; maybe somehow, with two cops on him, he did get it. Maybe maybe maybe. Witnesses do mis-see things. You can bet that's what the two policemen will say.
Alton Sterling matters. Tamir Rice matters. Eric Garner matters. Walter Scott matters. Michael Brown matters too, even if he did go for that cop's gun -- unproved, but that at least was in the realm of the possible! -- he is not an un-person; he matters. You don't have to be "an angel" to be grieved and mourned.
Alton Sterling matters. Black lives matter.
Rebecca Schoenkopf is the owner, publisher, and editrix of Wonkette. She is a nice lady, SHUT UP YUH HUH. She is very tired with this fucking nonsense all of the time, and it would be terrific if you sent money to keep this bitch afloat. She is on maternity leave until 2033.