Following the death of Baton Rouge resident, Alton Sterling, actress Issa Rae launched a GoFundMe initiative to raise $200,000 for Sterling’s children. The father of five was killed on Tuesday morning during an encounter with two Baton Rouge police officers, who were questioning him after there were reports of a man carrying a gun and threatening others. Sterling was shot multiple times in the chest and back. A graphic video of the situation surfaced and Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-La.) called for the Department of Justice to launch a civil rights investigation to find out what exactly happened during the altercation.
Richmond (D-La.) shared in a statement:
“There are a number of unanswered questions surrounding Mr. Sterling’s death, including questions about the initial calls for police presence, the level of force used by officers, the verbal and physical altercation and the response of the officers after he was shot. I call on the U.S. Department of Justice to conduct a full and transparent investigation into this incident. The cause of justice requires state and local law enforcement to join in this request as soon as possible.”
“I ask the leaders and citizens of Baton Rouge to join me in demonstrating our anger with dignity and demanding proper focus on our cause with perseverance. His family and the citizens of Baton Rouge — especially the citizens of North Baton Rouge — deserve answers and that is what we will seek in a fair, thorough, and transparent way.”
The department of justice has since opened an investigation:
“The FBI’s New Orleans Division, the Civil Rights Division and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Louisiana have opened a civil rights investigation into the death of Alton Sterling. The Justice Department will collect all available facts and evidence and conduct a fair, thorough and impartial investigation.”
Rae, who did not offer any details about the tragic event, shared on the GoFundMe page:
“If you feel helpless, but want to play a small part in easing the burden of #AltonSterling’s family, consider donating to this scholarship fund for his 15-year-old son (and his other kids).”
Since its launch Tuesday afternoon, the campaign has successfully secured its initial goal and at this time has raised $333,782 from over 11,000 supporters. All funds will go towards a scholarship that is dedicated to the Sterling’s children.
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