PHILADELPHIA — As protests erupt in cities across the country, the U.S. Department of Justice has opened up an investigation after an unarmed black man, Alton Sterling, who was subdued by officers on the ground was shot multiple times and killed in Baton Rouge, La., about an hour north of New Orleans.
According to NBCPhiladelphia:
After two hours of protest, Philadelphia police moved in to arrest people who’d marched through Center City, disrupting rush hour traffic along some of Center City’s major arteries Wednesday. They’re angry over the Baton Rouge police shooting of Alton Sterling.
Officers began taking people into custody after they blocked I-676, some holding hands, others lying prone on the pavement. In all a dozen demonstrators were arrested.
The group organized on Facebook and began their march down busy Market Street.
“Clearly this is REVOLUTION time,” the Facebook post read. “We know this. We are gathering to shut down center city and business as usual as folks continue to move through their day as if another black body has not hit the ground. We will shake this city so that they feel the wrath of the people.”
Sterling, a 37-year-old father of five, was shot multiple times by police outside a Baton Rouge, Louisiana, convenience store. His death Tuesday sparked protests against police brutality in Baton Rouge and online after cellphone video emerged showing Sterling being shot multiple times as he was pinned to the ground.
The Department of Justice will lead the investigation into Sterling’s death.
Sterling, a convicted felon, wouldn’t be permitted to legally have a gun. But those who knew him said he kept one to protect himself from robbers. Family members and Baton Rouge’s NAACP branch called Wednesday for an independent review and for the police chief to resign.
“I will not rest and will not allow you to sweep him in the dirt until the adequate punishment is served to all the parties involved,” Quinyetta Mcmillon, the mother of Sterling’s 15-year-old son, said during an emotional press conference.
Two officers, four-year veteran Blane Salamoni and three-year veteran Howie Lake II, were put on paid administrative leave “per standard procedure” as the investigation continues.
SEPTA Transit Police chief Thomas Nestel III, a prolific tweeter, gave followers a heads up about the protesters with a reminder of the public’s right to peacefully protest.
The Fraternal Order of Police in Delaware County snapped back, questioning why reaction wasn’t the same when one of their young officers was shot.