…though thankfully without any Ferguson-style results. So far as we can tell nobody got hurt and no property was damaged.
But there were people jumping up on the hoods of cars, blocking traffic and so on, in a rather disorganized protest. And this morning there is a large gathering outside of City Hall.
Why? This is why…
The victim in this case was named Alton Sterling. He was a 37-year old ex-con, with a place on the sex offender registry thanks to a conviction for carnal knowledge of a juvenile back in 2000. He also pleaded guilty to illegal carrying of a weapon with drugs and possession of marijuana in 2011 and was sentenced to five years. Of late, Sterling made a living of sorts by selling rap CD’s outside a convenience store. The police were called Monday night because, it’s alleged, Sterling had threatened someone with a gun.
So let’s dispense with the usual Trayvon Martin/Mike Brown “gentle giant” business. This was not a good guy.
And apparently he was tazed first and still didn’t comply with police instructions, then he was tackled and he was still struggling. We’re told that in such cases it’s almost always true that the toxicology report will come back with a whole drugstore represented. A pistol was found in his pocket, though witnesses say they never saw him make a move for it.
Here’s video from an eyewitness, the store clerk, who was only a couple of feet away at the scene…
On that first video he’s pinned on the ground with two cops on top of him and he still gets shot? In the back?
Then there’s the revelation that the body cameras the cops were wearing had come loose and didn’t record anything.
That’s a fact pattern, on YouTube no less, which looks worse than Ferguson or Baltimore or Trayvon or Eric Garner. So here we go.
This morning, the local NAACP honcho, whose name is Mike McClanahan, just called for police chief Carl Dabadie’s resignation “if he has the guts.” Exactly how “guts” = “resignation” isn’t quite clear. McClanahan was joined by the rather infamous blogger Gary Chambers, with whose exploits our readers are familiar (Chambers now has his greatest venue for self-promotion yet), and state representative and mayoral candidate C. Denise Marcelle on the steps of City Hall (another state representative, Edmond Jordan, was also on hand). Opportunity is knocking.
And the mother of Sterling’s baby, whose name wasn’t given and whose current relationship with him is not known, has castigated the Baton Rouge police for handling him “unjustly,” and for has having been “killed without regard for the lives he helped raise.”
It’s a mess, and we’ll be very lucky if it doesn’t get a lot worse before it gets better.