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Sterling, 37, was reportedly selling CDs outside a store before being shot by police.

Musicians have reacted to the death of Alton Sterling, the black Louisiana father-of-five who was shot dead by police in Baton Rouge early yesterday morning (July 6).

A police statement said officers were called to the eastern part of the city after receiving a call from someone who reported being threatened with a gun by a man in a red T-shirt selling CDs outside a store.

Video shot by a bystander shows Sterling, 37, being wrestled to the ground by two police officers and then shot. A post-mortem examination showed that Sterling died of wounds to the chest and back.

The incident comes at a time of increased tension in the US over African-American male deaths by police, and the BBC reports that over 200 people protested at the scene just hours after the shooting, chanting: “Black lives matter.”

Public Enemy’s Chuck D criticised the “sick sport of police brutality” in a tweet and criticised CNN for failing to cover the incident, while Wiz Khalifa said: “Only reason #AltonSterling isn’t on CNN, they still looking for a photo of him with a gun.”

Baton Rouge rapper Boosie Badazz quoted prominent black writer Zora Neale Hurston, saying: “If you are silent about your pain, they’ll kill you and say you enjoyed it.”

OG Maco and Big Boi also paid tribute to Sterling, with the former saying: “Without conviction to the cause we will never see convictions in the court, of this I am certain.”

Sterling is reportedly the 558th person killed by US police so far in 2016.

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