Tuesday night, July 5, 2016, 24 hours from "Independence Day," in Baton Rouge, LA, a 37-year-old husband and father of five was shot and murdered by a police officer while selling CDs in front of a convenience store with permission.
According to a cell phone recorded video, released by a bystander, two white policemen tackled and pinned to the ground Alton Sterling, a black man, flat on his back, when one of the police officers pulled out a gun. After hearing one of the officers yell, "He's got a gun. Gun," the officer drew his gun and shot Sterling six times in his chest.
The two officers involved in the murder, Blane Salamoni and Howie Lake II, were responding to an anonymous call at 12:35 a.m. The caller indicated that a man in a red shirt was selling CDs outside of the store and pointing a gun a someone, telling them to leave, according to the Advocate.
Sterling, fitting the description, wasn't resisting arrest, he wasn't participating in any illegal activity and he wasn't armed. He was a man who found an additional mean to help support his family while black. According to CNN, the U.S. Justice Department's Civil Rights Division is leading an investigation into what happened. Also, the president of the NAACP's local branch is calling for the city's police chief and mayor to resign. The U.S. attorney's office in Baton Rouge, the FBI and state police will also be involved in the investigation.
So far, Salamoni and Lake have been placed on administrative leave, which is a temporary leave with pay and benefits intact.
Shortly after the video of the shooting was released, many people started to protest in the area, with signs reading, "black lives matter" and "hands up, don't shoot." Other people have been protesting by making their voices heard through social media and other media outlets.
Today, July 6, 2016, while discussing the Alton Sterling shooting on Ebro In The Morning, Peter Rosenberg, a Jewish Hot 97 radio personality, used his platform to stand against police brutality.
When a cop called in to join the conversation, Rosenberg asked, "As an officer yourself, it looks bad, no? Can you say the words, 'It looks bad.'" When the officer began to stammer, Rosenberg snapped at him and this is what happened:
UPDATED JULY 7, 2016, 2:31 a.m.
Less than 24 hours after the murder of Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, a 32-year-old black man, was shot and killed by a police officer on Wednesday night, July 6, 2016, in Falcon Heights, Minneapolis, MN. The police officer pulled Castile, his girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, and her 4-year-old daughter over for having a broken tail light.
The officer asked Castile for his license and Castile let him know that he had a license to carry. As he was taking out his license, after he was asked for it, the officer shot him in his arm four times on Reynolds' Facebook Live and in front of her 4-year-old daughter.
The next thing you see and hear in the video is of police asking Reynolds to step out of the vehicle and her phone being thrown away from her as she prays for her boyfriend's life. They arrest Reynolds and put her and her daughter in the back of a police car as her phone was dying.
Later on that night, Castile was presumed dead at Hennepin County Medical Hospital. Meanwhile, according to Ted Haller of Fox 9 News via Twitter, a crowd "gathered at the site of the shooting chanting, 'we will not move', as investigators try to tape off more area near the crime scene," while some were holding candles.
Lives of minorities have been taken ever since America was "founded" by the Europeans and nothing much has changed since then. It's not just minorities who are outraged. People are tired of the fact that black lives are constantly being sacrificed for target practice by white police officers. It's causing anger and hate, which is playing a part in dividing the human race.
Police officers are supposed to protect and serve everyone, but how are people of color going to feel that way when white officers are being protected and rewarded for committing these crimes?
All crimes need to be brought to justice, including crimes against citizens by police officers. This can not be ignored and as a unit, the human race will NOT be ignored. This is an opportunity for everyone to band together and promote togetherness in a world full of hate.
Some people may ignore or may not believe that police brutality and racial profiling are actual problems, but if everyone could look passed their differences and stick together, the ignorant won't have any other choice but to join the movement.
If you want to be a part of the solution for change, follow the Diversity Organization on their Instagram, @TheDiversityOrg. If you want "to express the need for a federal law enforcement agency that specializes in investigating the ethical conduct of all law enforcement agencies in the United States of America," click here to sign a petition.