So I wake up this morning, and have the unfortunate task of having to stomach yet another video posted on social media of a man being shot and killed. This morning, I saw another name as a hashtag.
From what I have read, this again, does not make any sense to me. I watched the video, and amongst the several issues I have with the way this man was man-handled and brought to the ground, is that you can see that this man’s hands were restrained; he was on his back in a totally submissive position and another police officer yells out the phrase, “he has a gun”(why). So, this immediately causes his fellow boy in blue to pull his weapon out and have it in this man’s face.
It’s not like #AltonSterling had the gun in his hand. He didn’t reach for it (how could he have?). From what the reports state, even the convenience store owner had no issues with him, didn’t say a bad word about him, did not have an issue with him selling CD’s in front of the store. I would love to know what caused the police to decide that in that moment, this man’s life was worth taking. I need to understand how him merely possessing a weapon is grounds for death, without any forethought.
If this man was not supposed to be selling CD’s in front of that store, if this man was not supposed to have a handgun on him, if this man committed a crime in any way, then these are things he was not supposed to do; however, I do not understand how selling CD’s and having a gun in his pocket (IF this man EVEN had one because we have seen that narrative before as well) that he hadn’t even pulled out on anyone at the time warrants his life. I cannot, do not and will not ever be able to fathom how CD’s is a cause for danger and a gun resting in someone’s pocket or belt holster is a threat and a life be taken. There was no stand-off, no hostage situation ensuing, there was no indication that this man had gotten hostile with the police in any way; and it appears that the gun was only noticed when #AltonSterling was on the ground. This man was approached, brought to the ground, restrained to a degree and shot with the intent to kill (because don’t tell me that the police NEEDED to shoot him at this point).
There is a video, but I will not post it. I will not watch it again. It was traumatic enough watching it the first time. Do not patronize or criticize me or anyone who does not have the time, space or energy to deal with that today.
Just pray for this thing called life.