Cameron Sterling—the 15-year-old son of Alton Sterling, who was fatally shot by a police officer in Baton Rouge, La. last week—spoke out Wednesday, remembering his father and calling for peace in the U.S.
“My father was a good man,” Cameron Sterling said, somber and stoic at a press conference in front of the convenience store where his father was killed. “That was a sacrifice to show everyone what has been going on in life, and it should give everyone a push that everyone should be together, not against each other. Everyone needs to be on one chord, not a different note. Everyone needs to be together, not apart.”
L. Chris Stewart, an attorney representing the family, criticized “character assassination attempts” against 37-year-old Alton Sterling, asking people not to judge his past but, instead, the video that captured his encounter with police. The video shows Alton Sterling pinned to the ground by police outside a convenience store, before being fatally shot. In an affidavit filed with a search warrant on Monday, Baton Rouge police said officers saw “the butt of a gun” in Alton Sterling’s pocket and said he tried “to reach for the gun from his pocket,” the Associated Press reported.
“We want this family to get fairness,” Stewart said. “Will the attorney general give them fairness? Will the city attorney down here, the parish attorney, give them fairness? Will there be diversity in the proceedings to get them fairness?”
More than 100 people were arrested in Baton Rouge last weekend, as they protested police brutality.
“What a lot of people have to realize is that people truly want change,” Stewart said. “They’re not out demonstrating and protesting simply just because it’s something fun to do. People actually want change.”
Cameron Sterling also asked that everyone “protest the right way.”
“I feel that everyone, yes, you can protest, but I want everyone to protest the right way,” he said. “Protest in peace—not guns, not drugs, not alcohol, not violence. Everyone needs to protest in the right way—with peace, no violence, none whatsoever.”