Thousands gathered for Alton Sterling’s funeral on Friday, July 15, in Baton Rouge, La to grieve and pay their respects. Sterling, a father of five, was killed at the hands of police during an incident on July 6. His death was closely followed by the killing of Philando Castille.
These two killings of black men by police sent the nation into an uproar after live footage of the killings were captured and quickly circulated on the internet. Following the loss of these two men, a shooting in Dallas left five policemen dead, making for one of the worst weeks many Americans can remember in recent years.
The funeral was a mix of a celebration of Sterling’s life and a political statement hoping that his death will not be yet another one in vain. Protesters were present with Black Lives Matter t-shirts and signs.
Powerful speakers reminded all who listened of the beginnings of the civil rights movement in the Baton Rouge area and the long road that’s yet to be covered. Family members and other speakers encouraged everyone to play their part in making the change that our nation so greatly needs.
Alton Sterling’s Funeral In Context
This was the fifth funeral this week as a result of the recent outburst of gun violence surrounding police and black people. Castille’s funeral was yesterday and memorial services for the officers killed in Dallas were also held this week.
Yet, some Americans still seem to prefer to turn a blind eye, calmly carrying on with their heads stuck in the sand. Surely they must recognize that it’s unacceptable for innocent people to be shot and killed at the hands of police!
A flurry of social media disagreements and outbursts continues between supporters of the Black Lives Matter movement and those who sustain All Lives Matter. Many blindly support the right of police officers to use excessive and deadly force.
What’s certainly telling is that media and the law have provided quick attention to the shooter in the Dallas killings. Yet, there is a lack of information regarding what, if anything, will happen to the police officers in the Sterling and Castille deaths.
The Sterling family buried a father, nephew, brother, and close friend today. However, the road of suffering will continue for them as they make an attempt to continue life without him. What will the nation do to ensure yet another family isn’t faced with the same struggle in the future?