And just like that, Alton Sterling was killed by police.
Another day has passed and, somehow, cops have found a way to kill someone unnecessarily. Unlike last time with Dylan Noble, this person is black. At some point, using race will become the non sequitur for these killings. Then again, it is another black man being manhandled and murdered while not really putting anyone’s life in danger outside of his own.
Here is what is understood about this situation:
Louisiana cops were caught on video shooting a man to death while holding him down on the ground early Tuesday morning.
Alton Sterling, 37, who had been selling CDs in front of a store, died from multiple gunshot wounds to his chest and back.
The 48-second video, which was recorded by a witness inside a car, shows two cops struggling with Sterling before one of them takes him down to the ground and both of them end up on top of him.
“He’s got a gun!” a cop yells. “You fucking move, I swear to God.”
Then one cop is seen pulling his gun out of his holster and firing twice.
The camera then turns away as the witnesses are in shock over what they just saw.
“They shot him?” a man from inside the car asks.
“Yes,” a woman replies.
The bigger problem is that these people witnessed the man being shot at point blank range. It came with a video showing Alton Sterling being slammed to the ground at first. It also shows the point where Sterling had his hands up on the ground while the police struggled to put the cuffs on. And then, the viewer hears the “bang, bang” ring out. Another man dead unnecessarily.
Alton Sterling as the Unforgiven
It is becoming the norm that black people are risking their lives by doing anything remotely illegal. If they think the person has a gun, then that black person can die. If that person is selling loose cigarettes, then he/she can die. If you walk in the middle of the road, then that person can be relieved from living. So many different stipulations exist for black people to function under consideration of the police.
It is time to face the facts: black people are the unforgiven.
And being a part of the unforgiven means that you can’t make any mistakes. No matter how unintentional or harmless the mistake is, black people cannot make the wrong choices. Our records better be clean. Our attitudes better be cheerful. Our pockets better be empty of anything suspect. When you are the unforgiven, you cannot be anything close to human.
Black people have to be superhuman. The problem is that we are not, and have no real plans on being, the perfect people. So, we suffer.
But the suffering has to end.
Alton Sterling Epilogue
Alton Sterling may have had a gun. He may have been doing something “illegal”. However, video evidence shows that the cops shot him needlessly and mercilessly. And even then, they will find a way to criminalize and dehumanize Alton Sterling. But, where does the lies end and when does the truth begin?
Alton Sterling is just another situation that we have been decrying for years. They won’t listen until we make them listen.