Local Reaction to Baton Rouge Shooting
Outrage sparked the nation after a man in Baton Rouge was shot and killed by police Tuesday night.
News 25’s Laurene Callander caught up with local law enforcement and NAACP leaders for their reaction on the incident.
The video that outraged the Baton Rouge community and the nation, watching 37-year-old Alton Sterling as he is shot and killed by police. Gordon Jackson with the Biloxi NAACP said, “It did take me back. I mean, I saw the police officers. Two officers on top of Mr. Sterling.”
This was followed by multiple gunshots. Thousands, possibly millions, of viewers have watched the cell phone video in anger. However, police officials say no one truly knows what happens between law enforcement and the suspect. Major Jim Adamo with the Biloxi PD said, “There’s things they don’t see. I’m watching your facial gestures. I’m watching what you are doing with your hands. What does your waistline look like? Is there a gun in there? is there something that can be used as a weapon?”
Anger and frustration has flooded the Baton Rouge streets, the public desperate for answers. “Protest in a civil manner. Protest without inflicting violence themselves, but do protest in a way that the issue is brought out and hopefully that will lead to a full and fair investigation,” said Jackson.
An investigation by the Department of Justice into alleged civil rights violations in this case is now underway. While many questions remain unanswered in this early stage of the investigation, NAACP leaders tell News 25 the more outreach between the community and law enforcement, the better for the public. “The Biloxi NAACP and the Gulfport NAACP have had proactive dialogues and relationships with the police departments here. Hopefully, that helps to see that this doesn’t happen here as well.”