Blaine Salamoni, the officer who fatally shot Alton Sterling in 2016, has been fired according to The Baton Rouge Police Department.
It happened around 12:35 a.m. “CD Man” Alton Sterling was fatally shot in front of a convenience store by two white Baton Rouge Police officers. The officers were responding to a call that said a man in a red shirt was selling CDs and threatening locals with a gun.
When I initially heard about this shooting back in 2016, I instantly thought, “Not another one.” Dating back to 2012, a record number of unarmed black men have been shot by police officers.
I began talking to someone when the incident happened and watching the reports on the news. Confused about the facts surrounding Sterling’s death, I started reading multiple articles, which conflicted on Sterling being armed.
The family of Sterling wanted justice for their loved one, so they sued Baton Rouge and its police department.
An article from the Huffington Post said, “The death of Alton Sterling, 37, was among a series of racially charged police killings that inflamed a national debate over the treatment of minorities by law enforcement.”
“This is not about whether the officers should go to jail,” L. Chris Stewart, an attorney, said at a news conference. “It’s about resolving this case for the children who no longer have a father because proper procedures weren’t followed.”
The shooting led to protests in Baton Rouge and caused an uproar on social media.
“Police reportedly used pepper spray and a stun gun as seven people were arrested in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on Wednesday during a march to memorialize Alton Sterling,” according to NBC News. “Three women and four men were taken into custody at the conclusion of the march after they allegedly tried to break through barriers set up outside police headquarters.”
Recently, four videos were released showing the fatal shooting of Sterling. On the videos, you can hear now fired officer Salamoni shouting, “Don’t f—– move or I’ll shoot your f—- a–. Put your f—— hands on the car.”
The police said they believed Sterling was reaching for a gun, but that wasn’t the case. Despite this, the cops didn’t hesitate to show aggression. Officers should be fired for committing police brutality and face prison time for their actions.
As I was watching the videos, I instantly got chills. I’ve seen videos like this once before, and every time, I get a sense of discomfort. Before the shooting, the video shows the officer’s gun close to Sterling’s head, and even though I knew the outcome, I quickly told myself, “Please don’t shoot him.” Even though I haven’t experienced a family member going through what Sterling went through, my heart will remain heavy with him and his family.