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.
My prayers goes out to the families who losing ppl over senseless deaths from police officers who suppose to protect us 🙏🏿
— Zaytoven (@zaytovenbeatz) July 6, 2016