Alton Sterling, a 37-year-old black man, is the latest “hashtag” death at the hands of the police. While details of the shooting are still emerging, someone managed to capture the altercation on camera. Two officers were trying to pin down Sterling and, as they were placing him under arrest, one officer pulled out a gun and shot him at least twice. Social media has already gotten wind of the story and have been passing the video around on their respective networks. Many are appropriately outraged.
Those included among the angered are members of the hip-hop community. Rappers like Meek Mill, who’s been vocal about the police and the justice system before, Fabolous, Game, and Big Pooh all took to their respective social media accounts to let their feelings be known.
Meek said that the reason he takes these situations so seriously is because “so many of my people losing their lives and freedom to the people they say are supposed to protect us.”
Fabolous, a father of two sons, feels sadness about the fact “5 kids are growing up without their father.” He also acknowledges that cops are “getting away with murder.”
Game reposted the video on his Instagram with his comments. A trigger warning is necessary, due to the fact Sterling’s actual murder is located on Game’s post. He lambasted online activists because, in his opinion, all they’re going to do is “repost [the video] & type “SMH” over & over again.”
“All we gone do is repost it & type “SMH” over & over again huh ?? Then we gone put #JusticeForAltonSterling & #BlackLivesMatter hashtags on Instagram & pretend that’s us taking action huh ??? What happened to the generation of people who stood together, held hands & took to the streets peacefully or violently if it had to come to that & wouldn’t move or be detoured from that stance until real results were handed over to us ?!?!? Huh ??? WTF is wrong with us these days that we will sit here & watch a video of yet another innocent man shot & killed in cold blood by police officers in this country ?!?!? WTF is wrong with ME, YOU & everyone else who will watch the video & read this caption & DO NOTHING until it happens again… Then what we gone do ?? The same shit we been doing… Hashtag”
Big Pooh took a different approach as he chose to pen his stance on Medium. Pooh is as tired of this as anyone and he’s looking for alternative solutions. He really wants to know “how do we make real change? Where do we start?” The North Carolina MC isn’t interested in passive ways to get results either, writing, “I won’t grovel or beg to be accepted by anyone so if another march is your plan, count me out.”
“It’s crazy that a whole fraction of us, Americans, wonder if we are going to make it home at night. We don’t fear erratic drivers. We don’t fear random acts of violence in random places. We don’t fear many health concerns. We fear a system that was never designed for us to survive in. The government is a part of that system. The banks are a part of that system. The courts are a part of that system. Those sworn to protect and serve are a part of that system. I don’t care how distracted they try to keep you, if you don’t see it, it’s because you choose not to.”
Due to the high-profile nature of the shooting, the Department of Justice will be handling the investigation.