July 6, 2016.
I woke up this morning and heard about you on the news. Something happened.
To be honest, I didn't want to know yet. I avoided you. Then I saw your face on my news feed. Something happened.
My phone buzzed with people asking me if I had heard. I didn't want to know yet. I wanted to put you off for as long as I could because I knew I had to prepare myself. Something happened to you.
I wish I hadn't seen your final minutes. I am in shock.
#AltonSterling was the CD man.
#AltonSterling had 5 children.
#AltonSterling lived 37 years.
#AltonSterling was executed.
#AltonSterling was at shot at point blank range while pinned down by two Louisiana police officers.
#AltonSterling's killers have been placed on administrative leave, "as per standard."
There was nothing you could have done to save your life. They approached you ready to kill you. I watched them pull a gun on you 14 seconds after you hit the ground. You didn't have a fighting chance. No gun in your hand, you were just black in America.
This post is dedicated to you because you're worth it. YOU MATTER. I don't want to talk about you. I want to talk to you - the human behind the hashtag.
I cant look you up without finding out the sins of your past. I wanted a photo of you that wasn't a mug shot. But with enough digging here's what I already know about you:
They called you the "Music Man". You knew the people.
In 2016, you sold CD's. You were a hustler.
You had 5 kids to take care of. You were a provider.
You had a big ol' belly. You liked to eat.
Gold teeth? Shinin' baby!
The footage of your final moments will be the last video of the killing of Black life I'll ever watch. My heart aches too much for you, #SandraBland, #MichaelBrown, #AkaiGurley, #EmmittTill, #PhillipWhite, #KimaniGray, #TommyYancy, #FreddieGray, #TamirRice, #JohnCrawford, #KimaniGray, #TrayvonMartin, #SeanBell, #JordanBaker, #AmadouDiallo, #AbnerLouima, #MiriamCarey, #AiyanaJones, #WalterScott, #JeraimeReid, and the many other Black lives snatched away at the hands of the police in this country.
WE WONT FORGET YOU. YOU HAVE NOT DIED IN VAIN.
#AltonSterling you matter to me.