Tuesday morning saw another entry in the police-brutality-against-a-black-man category, when a Baton Rouge police officer shot Alton Sterling to death outside a convenience store. By Wednesday, people had taken to Twitter to express their outrage while Sterling’s wife tearfully called for justice in the aftermath of his death.
On late Wednesday morning, the Department of Justice announced that they would investigate Sterling’s death. As reported by the Huffington Post, the DOJ released the following statement:
“The FBI’s New Orleans Division, the Civil Rights Division and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Louisiana have opened a civil rights investigation into the death of Alton Sterling,” said David Jacobs, a spokesman for the department. “The Justice Department will collect all available facts and evidence and conduct a fair, thorough and impartial investigation.”
The DOJ’s announcement came after Rep. Cedric Richmond called for a federal investigation while Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards said that he had faith in the investigation. Likewise, Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry pledged his full cooperation.
The Justice Department has investigated similar incidents, like the death of Freddie Grey in Baltimore police custody in 2015. However, Sterling is the 558th person to be killed by U.S. police in this year alone. Even federal investigations haven’t fully addressed the endemic problem of police around the nation killing unarmed black men.
Along with the copious social media posts expressing anger over this incident, Rev. Jesse Jackson has weighed in with this tweet:
It remains to be seen how exactly this justice will come about. No doubt people will be watching closely in the coming weeks as the investigation continues on the federal level with both state and local cooperation. This story will undoubtedly play out for quite some time in a nation that has already seen far too many tragedies of this nature.
(via Huffington Post)