Alton Sterling: The 558th Victim

I told myself that I wanted to make this post as genuine and as true to how I actually feel as possible, so I plan to just write what comes to mind. I don't want to include a jump break either because I feel like this is a topic that MUST be discussed.
     I remember reading about the Alton Sterling story during the summer, as I was laying in bed at midnight, looking at the trends on Twitter. Now, that wasn't the first time I'd read about police brutality; I remember reading a few other stories. Those stories didn't really... affect me as must as this one for a few reasons. I remember reading two stories similar to the Alton Sterling story, but I just kept it pushing; I paid attention to the stories, obviously, and I felt pretty down afterward, but I was able to contain myself and relax. When something trends on Twitter, more often than not, it's something dumb or something unimportant. I saw this one and for whatever reason, just judging by the hashtag, I felt a pang in my chest and knew it was going to be bad. I clicked on the hashtag, not knowing what to expect, really. What I saw was astounding. I read over 100 tweets over what had happened; some people were in denial, others were sad and angry, and a few just gave their opinions on the matter. What made this story different than the other ones I'd read in the past was that when people tweeted, sometimes, they included statistics. The statistics were staggering; I had absolutely NO CLUE the police brutality problem had gotten that serious during the summer. It opened my eyes and it made me realize that racism is a serious issue and it gets to the point where people's lives are being taken away because of the color of their skin tone. That's not right, man...
     What makes this story even more disturbing and what makes police brutality an even bigger issue is that some people actually tried to find justifications for what happened. How do you justify killing an innocent man, who was simply selling CDs? How do you justify shooting a man multiple times in the chest, when he was doing nothing wrong? There is video footage of this all over the internet. Just now as I was refreshing my mind on this story, I read an article that said that what happened was LEGAL; when did it become legal to kill someone for the hell of it? The LEGAL thing to do is to put handcuffs on the man is he's doing something wrong, not manhandle him and shoot him. What happened is MURDER. Quite frankly, the more I read the article, the more heated I get. The article also said that "miscommunication" between the officers at the scene of the crime caused them to kill Alton. Really? I'm sure the writer of that article isn't the only person that feels that way, which hurts...
     One tweet I read said the following: "#AltonSterling could've been me, or you, or my uncle, or my father. & they killed him so easily. It was just so easy for them to kill him." Another one said this; "A man was just murdered by cops and the first thing these people think to do is look for a justification. It's sickening. #AltonSterling." I also came across a video on Twitter talking about Alton Sterling, and police brutality in general. But like many people in America, the fact that policemen are killing innocent black people is no longer surprising, which is really scary. When a problem becomes as big as police brutality has become, you almost forget that it's a problem; it seems normal to wake up to a news headline saying 'Another Black Person Killed by Police.' It almost feels like just another day in America, where cops can kill black people and not be convicted; it makes me uncomfortable saying that, but it feels true.

Here's a song: Black America Again by Common ft. Stevie Wonder. The intro of the official music video includes scenes from the Alton Sterling incident.


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