The Execution of Alton Sterling: Don’t Hold Your Breath Waiting for Justice


Alton Sterling is the 558th person killed by police in 2016.

The hushed cries of two Black women echo inside the car where a witness recorded the execution of 37-year old Alton Sterling in the early morning hours of July 5th. Smith was selling music CD’s outside of a convenience store in Baton Rouge, LA. before being confronted by police after an anonymous caller notified authorities that Sterling had a gun. After being physically detained by two officers, Sterling was shot and killed.

Sound familiar?

We’ve watched in horror as Eric Garner was choked out by officers of the NYPD, we were befuddled as unarmed Walter Scott was shot in the back as he fled an armed officer — who later tried to plant a taser as he lay mortally wounded. The image of Mike Brown bleeding out on a Ferguson street will be forever burned into our consciousness, but the execution-style murder of Alton Sterling by Baton Rouge police has taken me to an inexplicable place, deeper than the last. The helplessness and raw emotion of two Black women as they witness police approach, subdue and eventually shoot Sterling is an inexplicable anguish to hear.

Sterling, a father of three was allowed to sell music outside of the establishment according to the owner Abdullah Muflahi. Police received a call from anonymous called stating a man fitting Sterling’s description threatened him with a gun. The store owner doesn’t recall any altercation involving Sterling that would lead to a 911 call. In the video, Sterling can be heard asking police, “What did I do?”

After the shooting police removed a gun from Sterling’s pocket, but they have not yet confirmed if Sterling was in possession of a gun. Muflahi — who stood just feet away from the shooting told The Advocate that Sterling was not holding a weapon and his hands weren’t close to his pockets during the altercation.

Sterling appeared to die quickly, Muflahi said. Just after the killing, the officer who fired the bullets cursed, and both officers seemed like they were “freaking out,” Muflahi said.

The store owner said he heard one of the officers say, “Just leave him.”

Body cameras worn by the officers became dislodged during their struggle with Sterling, but there is footage from the dash camera and at least one surveillance camera. As of Tuesday, the two officers involved in the shooting have been placed on administrative leave. Initial autopsy reports have ruled Sterling’s death a homicide after suffering multiple gunshot wounds to the back and chest.

Protesters of the shooting assembled peacefully near the Triple S Food Mart where Sterling was killed on Tuesday night.

Now we will see the layers of Alton Sterling’s life begin to be unraveled by those eager to justify his murder. They’ll ask why was Sterling carrying a gun in an open-carry state that forbids former felons to carry. Could it be because he was just by chance protecting himself from being a victim — after all he was selling merchandise. They’ll dig into his court records — which date back to 1996 and somehow blend this all in with what happened on the early morning of July 5th. They’ll rip the bubble wrap off Louisiana’s “Blue Lives Matters Law” which can bring hate crimes against anyone who attacks an EMT worker, fireman or police officer and somehow attach this to Sterling’s bullet-riddled corpse.

Remember three things as you live your life in this country:

  • We live in a society founded and fully operational on the basis of white supremacy.
  • White privilege will continue to manifest itself.
  • A Black man isn’t dead until you kill him twice.

In the days, weeks and months ahead, we’ll witness the second death of Alton Sterling.

5 Responses to “The Execution of Alton Sterling: Don’t Hold Your Breath Waiting for Justice”

  1. tasha says:

    How you shoot a unarmed man just so sad.

  2. mapoui says:

    open lynching is back in full force USA, this time focused in the hands in the hands of the blue line, there to serve and protect. indeed!

    Legal lynching USA under a black president…who is a legal assassin, abrogated the right to kill anyone at all in the world at all at behest as judge jury and executioner.

    the emergence of Obama and Sigma Pi phi as adjunct and support of white supremacy that proves class not race as an arbiter of social evolution/. yes black people were great setting up the human species. but the restoration of black history does not yet explain black defeat and the true nature of black people and the human species as a whole..who we are the world we live in,in the universe.

    by what we have been taught nothing makes sense in the light of human experience and behavior. outside the established box of ‘knowledge’ lies the most promise of clarifying logical content, truth that may set us free. Obama certainly has been no help at all. yet ti is time for the rise of the ordinary folk much as it was in 1676 with Bacon in Jamestown but this time total, comprehensive and final..the rise to end all rises..the rise that ushers in democratic america in what is likely to be very bloody birth.. but the only one that may assure us any future at all.

    Capitalist man, elite man, Boule’ Man has no future, his system dead…unless he can find a way to remain atop society period, in charges still. how to cut society into a shape that would permit his continuing dictatorship..less he be made ordinary and subject to account for all his sins against humanity.

    oh the indignity of judgment by their inferiors, in chains, in a place where elitist spin, secrecy and lies count for nought and they must answer for their drone works, economic hits on whole nations, Boule’ complicity in the genocide of their own people..Hillary cackling to the hangman’s noose, accompanied by Bill for all manner of predatory sexual crime….

    the time is now or forever be enslaved, culled, engineered by the dead capitalist, who can now survive only over the dead bodies of billions. there is no more capitalist employment in advanced technological society. an unemployed vast majority is naturally revolutionary and safe for the elites only drugged into docile stupidity and complicity with their own enslavement and demise, biologically engineered the same way, or dead.

    and the dead capitalist walking is entirely capable of such atrocity, indeed of any imaginable atrocity at all, against the human species.. as he has proved beyond a shadow of doubt by now.

    the test of humanity is at hand, its denouement, the resolution of the issues of living since the break up of ancient communal life that evolved from them into exploitative society. all human paper has been burned and we must henceforth make a choice that will answer positively the question of ‘how does humanity survive indefinitely in an evolutionary universe’ or answer it in the negative. in which case the capitalist wins, degrades human society into Brave New World on our way out the existential door.

    we know enough now to put all the lies to bed. there is no god as we have been led to believe, belief prepared the way for mental slavery and perpetual human exploitation by other humans. to find god if there is such as god we must go back to the ancients, discover and regularize what they bequeathed us that was turned into the current religions that enslaved us.

    we must clean that up, free our minds, take what was good and useful and go forward relevant to what we now know as proved fact about universal existence. to go forward in the best shape we can is to go forward in total real democracy, socialism, in the most complete diversity we have evolved in as diversity and its development is life itself.

    the universe is vast and the question of indefinite human survival in it is just as vast requiring in a proper democracy that has as its purpose the survival of humanity by honing the instrument of our survival society itself requires more hands than the 7-8 billion already alive. the reduction of humanity increase chances of extinction.. does not improve our chances of survival. there is no over population problem only a problem in the reverse as human security grows in our ability to make life more and more secure.

    as a result in advanced societies already there is a problem even of replacement levels being maintained. some advanced countries secure population balance by numbers only by immigration of peoples still fecund enough to reproduce energetically. that s a looming human extreme difficulty should the revolution succeed and development spreads globally. but it is the problem we would wish to have… not the one of managed extinction in a lunatic capitalist Brave New World…

    Humanity’s chance, our collective opportunity in existence is under grave threat by the way we chose t live over the exploitative paradigm, from ancient communalism, through ancient slavery and feudalism to modern slavery then economic slavery to modern current walking dead capitalism. it is time for the people to rise spontaneously, led by no political party..none required.

    all traditionally organized leadership vehicles are the counter revolution itself. the old OCCUPY MOVEMENT was the real deal. that is why Obama smashed it. that is the the example to follow, to take guide from but ready go all the way, to take down the rotting established way while creating on the go, in popular ways, the new forms of social organization that will takes far into the future at the same time.

    the lying Obama criminal has a lot to pay for. sweet will be the day he is brought up on charges for his crimes against humanity. I look forward to that day even more intently than the same day for Kissinger, the Bushes and Clintons, for Colin Powell and Condi Rice, for Susan Rice and Samantha Power, Victoria Nuland and the neo cons…

    Obama is the supreme fake , the absolute traitor, the devil himself Phillip Traum,without Traums’ redemptive qualities as draw by Twain.

    the police and executive and open lynching will be taken care of by and in the rise of the spontaneous rise, in their tens and hundreds of millions. there is no force than can withstand such rise of the ordinary people. that is the human human future, contained within such rise. if it does not happen we are toast

  3. mapoui says:

    the restoration of black history does not yet explain Sigma pi Phi and black elitism in the past and currently.

    black scholarship does not explain Paul kagame of this day and those who were complicit in the slavery that afflicted Africa driven by Arabs and by Europe subsequently.

    black scholarship must move fast to gird the people with a usable ideology that enables the people to move forward and fast. Cornel West is a vast and striking intellect, wide and massive,impressive indeed by capacity. yet he is not there where he is really needed, simple and facile and enabling by clearing away intellectual garbage of centuries to enable the people.

    when they hear it they will know and will move with it. they are not hearing it from Cornel. Anton Checkov will not help the people on the streets of america. Pushkin might, brought to the people in simple words. but Pushkin is not Wests favorite Russian intellect.

    Obama needs to be explained to the ordinary people who believed in him. I have not seen where West deconstructs Obama for the people.

    to me West is elitist. he is at the center of lots a huge figure. and he marries up a whole lot of general experience but in ways that are not urgent and and central to popular need at this time. John Coltrane is not directly revolutionary and relevant to the needs of people out of a job, under this and that pressure exerted by and exploitative state, murdered on the streets by the police

  4. mapoui says:

    the people of all and every nation in popular action are the basic law of the land..of all lands.

    the people of every nation in popular action supercedes any constitution.

    if the people in there majority rise up and removes the established government and way of life, cast out the way the society was run and set in its place a way they would like the society to be run..and that way holds.. then it must be recognized by the world as the new established way of that society

    in that way the people in popular social action is the basic law of social existence, regardless of what any elite established claims

  5. mapoui says:

    arrogated the right to kill as he pleases..