Days Black People Not Re-Enslaved By Trump

Saturday, March 31, 2018

The Alton Sterling Video

You can watch the video here:

Two comments on it:

1) As usual, this altercation escalated because Sterling refused to put his hands on the vehicle as requested.

However. The police officer never told Sterling that he was being detained. He never told Sterling why they were detaining him. A citizen has a right to be told he is being detained and for what reason. Personally, since I know that police have a license to kill, I'm going to cooperate, that is, I would have put my hands on the car as requested, while continuing to ask if I was being detained and why I was being detained.

This is particularly important because there was no crime in progress where police have far more discretion in detaining people *right now*. As we see in the video, Sterling has nothing in his hand except for what appears to be a cigarette and was in the middle of a business transaction with a woman. He did not have his other hand in his pocket. His hands were visible to the officers and he was not a threat. Even with the report of a "man with a gun" (none of which we hear on the muted audio) once at the scene the circumstances didn't warrant that approach.

What is worse though is that once Sterling had his hands on the car, the "cursing officer" continued to act extremely aggressively towards Sterling and requested that he be tasered while Sterling once again simply asked why he was being detained (which is his right). His hands were up and at his side. They did not fall until he was shot with the taser. The taser clearly didn't work on Sterling. This may need to be addressed with the manufacturer. What it does tell us though is that the officers attempted to use less than lethal force. Usually this would go in the officer's favor because it would show a lack of intent to kill. However, one officer had already said that he would shoot Sterling in the head. That is intent. That officer should be up for murder charges. Why? Because he (and his partner) escalated a situation while threatening to kill Sterling, then created a situation that lead to a fulfillment of that promise.


Furthermore; while tasing Sterling, the officers kept barking orders. My understanding is that a person hit with a taser essentially loses motor control. That is above and beyond the pain induced by being shocked. To bark orders and expect them to be followed by someone who has a high electric current running through their body is not productive and in my opinion, negligent. The way I see it, if you're going to shock a person into compliance, you wait until they are down, no longer being shocked and then give orders.

2) Once Sterling was brought to the ground he had been partially mounted by one of the cops. At this point the gun that Sterling had was seen/located and the officer announces gun. Fine. Then the shooting starts. Again though, Sterling had just been shocked at least 3 times and could not, from what I saw, be in any condition to get to the gun and fire it at anyone.

Again, I'm not clear on how the grand jury declined to charge the officers. The video presented in the linked page is pretty damning to me. There will be lawsuits and they will be won.