I went to high school with the police chief.
He graduated the year before me.
The victim’s family attorney
My nieces know Alton Sterling – not well- but they’ve bought CD’s and DVD’s from him at the local convenience store.
One of my nieces does his aunt’s hair.
They say in all their interactions with him that he’s been a nice man.
So, the question is what happened?
How did this seemingly nice man end up dead at the hands of two Baton Rouge police officers?
You can hear police tasing sterling first and then you can hear and see officers ordering Sterling to the ground.
“Get on the ground. Get on the ground.” (click)
Then you hear someone saying he’s got a gun, he’s got a gun and then the fatal gunshots.
“He’s got a gun.. oh.. oh shit.. shots.. they shot him.. oh my god.. oh my god..”
The videotape is extremely graphic.
But then a day after that video went viral, another one surfaced, which is even clearer and more graphic.
“He’s got a gun, he’s got a gun. You f#$k with me I swear to god. (shots) Get on the ground.. Get on the ground. F#$k.”
You can see one of the officers shoot Sterling point blank in the chest, Sterling writhes in pain, blood pours from his chest and then he stops moving.
The local head of the NAACP is calling for the Baton Rouge police chief to resign.
The police chief is refusing to do that but says he is demanding answers.
He knows it looks bad
Last night I spoke to the mother of Sterling’s 15-year old son by phone.
She said she was exhausted.
She hadn’t slept.
She hadn’t eaten.
Hours before we spoke, she and her son broke down at an emotional press conference.
“He is 15 years old. He had to watch this as this was put all over the outlets. And everything that was possible to be shown. (crying)
All of this pain because police say someone called them because Sterling was selling CD’s.
They say he threatened them and brandished a gun.
Although police did remove a gun from Sterling there is no proof of what the caller claimed.
Now today, another family is devastated.
His aunt, Sandra Sterling conveyed as much to me last night on my CNN show.
“When I saw the second video it killed everything in me. I never would have imagined. Cause in my mind I was thinking, I was hoping that he died peaceful and instantly. He was reaching out. He was talking. That killed me inside.”