On Tuesday morning, two police officers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, responded to an anonymous 911 call reporting a man pointing a gun at someone. The man in question was Alton Sterling, 37. He was selling CDs outside a convenience store. While an investigation is underway to determine what transpired in between, a graphic, disturbing video of Sterling being shot while lying on the ground, pinned down by the cops, has sparked outrage at yet another death of a civilian — one of more than 530 this year alone — at the hands of the police.
Both officers have been placed on paid administrative leave. The Department of Justice has announced that they are leading a civil rights investigation into the shooting.
Meanwhile, Sterling's death is another excruciating reminder for black men in America of how easily they could have been in that position. Many have taken to social media to reveal how they fear for their lives, and the lives of their brothers and sisters, whenever they're pulled over by or have any interaction with law enforcement.
When an entire community can collectively attest to this kind of experience with the very people who are meant to protect them, it's clear that something needs to change.