On CNN’s New Day this morning, the aunt of Alton Sterling spoke exclusively with Alisyn Camerota about the shooting death of the 37-year-old who was killed by police yesterday in Baton Rouge, sparking mass protests in the area.
Sandra Sterling told Camerota that her nephew was, “like a gentle giant.” Police responded to reports that a man outside a convenience store had threatened a passerby with a gun, and the ensuing altercation resulted in Sterling being shot by police after being tased and tackled hard to the ground.
“When I saw this video, I was so disturbed, I was hurt,” said Sandra Sterling Wednesday morning in reference to the video footage that someone recorded of the incident that has quickly spread on the internet. “I couldn’t believe what I was seeing and hearing. It was horrible. It should never happen to anybody that way.”
According to Sandra Sterling, her nephew had been harassed by police throughout the day Monday, and she questioned the anonymous phone call that led to the altercation. While police can be heard on the video claiming, “He’s got a gun!” Sandra Sterling refuted those claims.
“My nephew would never have a gun,” she said to Camerota Wednesday. “He was on probation, but he was taken off. But in the state of Louisiana you can not carry a weapon because of his previous incident. He can not carry a weapon.” She was careful to note that Alton Sterling did not have a history of violence, though would not directly name that crime for which he had previously been sentenced.
State records indicate that Alton Sterling was a registered sex offender, and was convicted on September 20, 2000 for “carnal knowledge of a juvenile.” He was released in 2004.
Watch the above interview from CNN’s New Day.
[image via screengrab]
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