Last night Larry Wilmore articulated what so many people are too emotional to express.
“No matter what his crimes were, Alton Sterling did not deserve to be executed for them. Look guys, the punishment for resisting arrest shouldn’t be death. The punishment for selling bootleg CDs shouldn’t be death. The punishment for having a gun in an open-carry state shouldn’t be death. The punishment for being a black man shouldn’t be death.”
The video of Sterling’s death in Baton Rouge, Louisiana shows two police officers holding him down then shooting him point-blank.
“What really gets me is that whenever this happens, there’s always an immediate takedown of the dead man’s character. So he had a criminal record. Martha Stewart has a criminal record. I don’t remember her being executed in a convenience store parking lot,” Wilmore said on The Nightly Show.
The Department of Justice has said it will investigate Sterling’s death, but that’s not enough for his partner and two children who are now left mourning the unfair killing.
“The individuals involved in his murder took away a man with children who depended on their daddy on a daily basis,” Quinyetta McMillon, the mother of Sterling’s oldest child, said at a press conference. “I for one will not rest…until the adequate punishment is served to all parties involved.”
“As a mother, I am forced to raise a son who is going to remember what happened to his father. That I can’t take away from him,” McMillon continued. “He is at an age of understanding. I hurt for him and his loss as a parent. One of the greatest fears is to see your child hurt and know there’s nothing you can do. ”
As The Nightly Show aired, another police officer killed a black man in Falcon Heights, Minnesota. Philando Castile was pulled over for reportedly having a broken tail light when he reached for his wallet to get his license. Police then shot him in front of his girlfriend, Lavisha Reynolds, and her child.
Reynolds quickly pulled out her phone and live-streamed the aftermath of the shooting.
“Thank God for f—ing cell phones,” Wilmore said, in reference to the video of Sterling’s death. “Because we would never even hear about incidents like this this otherwise. In fact, part of what makes people in the black community so enraged about this is for years, we never had evidence for these things.”
You can see Castile dying in Reynolds’ video while she says: “He let the officer know that he had a firearm, and he was reaching for his wallet, and the officer just shot him in his arm.”
All the while the police officer still had his gun pointed at Castile. The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension Assistance is now investigating.
Go Fund Me pages for Sterling and Castile’s families have been set up and have now raised over $300,000.
Alton Sterling’s Go Fund Me page here.
Philando Castile’s Go Fund Me page here.