I have long known that WAFB is the most racially biased TV news station in Baton Rouge. The death of Alton Sterling will simply allow the world to look into our back yards and see for themselves why, in Baton Rouge justice comes rarely and slowly in matters like this.
Alton Sterling was killed by two Baton Rouge police officers on July 5th.
The officers engaged Sterling while he was outside the Triple S Food-Mart at the corner of Fairfields Ave. and North Foster Dr. in Baton Rouge. The murder was recorded by multiple parties and vividly shows an unjust murder. People have taken to the streets all over the world to protest the killing of Sterling.
WAFB today released a story about a 2009 arrest of Sterling. Greg Meriwether, the WAFB “point man” used to attack those in the black community, made the report.
According to WAFB, “Sources close to the investigation said that if the killing of Sterling makes it to trial, Sterling’s past record could certainly be introduced.” The keyword being COULD. WAFB, in their story said, “Documents show, in May 2009, Sterling fought with cops outside of a convenience store on Rosenwald Road, where he was selling CDs, while carrying a gun.
In the report dated May 29, 2009, the officer said he was dispatched to a convenience store after getting a complaint about a subject “on the corner selling CDs” and that the subject had pulled a gun on someone.
According to the officer’s report, when he arrived to the store, he spotted the suspect, who he later identified as Alton Sterling, carrying a crate of CDs.
The officer asked Sterling to put his hand on the hood of his police car and asked if Sterling had any weapons on him. The report says Sterling did “not answer” and as the officer continued to pat him down, Sterling started reaching for his pocket.
The officer went on to say in the report that Sterling suddenly spun around and the two began to struggle. The officer and Sterling hit the ground. The officer said he was able to call for backup as Sterling tried to push him off.
“While wrestling with this subject on the ground a black semi auto hand gun fell from this subject waist band at this time,” the report states.
A deputy with the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office arrived as the officer was on the ground with Sterling. The two eventually were able to get Sterling into handcuffs. The report ends saying that “Sterling was then escorted to my unit where he continued to fight with officers.”
As a result of the 2009 fight with officers while having a gun, Baton Rouge Police charged Sterling with possession of marijuana, sound reproduction prohibited (for the CDs), illegal possession of a firearm with drugs, resisting an officer and illegal possession of a stolen firearm.”
The truth is, WAFB is attempting to disgrace Alton Sterling before he is even laid to rest. It is shameful to dig into the history of a man who was murdered for no justifiable reason.
When you watch the murder of Sterling you see the police are literally knelling in his chest. The officers tackled, tasered, and shot Sterling six times.
WAFB report of Alton Sterling’s past appears to be a duplication of the 2009 report, a cover up tactic for killing this man. There is absolutely no other justification for making the association, especially absent of the voluminous disciplinary files of both of the very well politically connected police officers. It is important to mention that each time a citizen made a complaint against Howie Lake and Blane Salamoni, they were dismissed, whereas on the other hand, Sterling serve several years in jail.
In a recent Gallup Poll, the majority of African Americans believe that the mass media slant reports in favor of the bias position on current issues. Consistently, WAFB’s Greg Merriweather contaminates news coverage and allows only one side of the issue to be heard.
Alton Sterling was already disenfranchised. The rules worked against him, his rights constantly violated, having little power to change his life for the better. If that wasn’t enough, WAFB wants to further degrade Alton Sterling and dehumanize him so people won’t identify him as being their son, brother, father, or nephew.
It is imperative that we keep things in perspective, on July 5, 2016, BRPD Officers Howie Lake and the shooter Blane Salamoni took it upon themselves to be judge, jury, and executioner of Alton Sterling. Alton Sterling is set to be laid to rest this Friday. His body is already deceased, now WAFB wants to kill his spirit throughout this community and ultimately this nation. .
Black Baton Rouge should boycott WAFB and Greg Merriweather and stage a protest outside their news station. WAFB is quick to paint members of the Black community in an unflattering light, giving the rest of Baton Rouge the impression that people of African descent are the only ones who are involved in certain behavior.
The video seen by millions across the world, portrays Alton Sterling as a man who wanted to live, asking “what had he done?” and two cops who were determined Sterling would die, never having the audacity to question them again. WAFB and Greg Merriweather should “investigate” the lack of leadership in our city during this crises. Oh, I forgot WAFB prefers to cover stories that include harassing Black women and the moral exclusion of murdered Black men.
Fortunately, our Black community is not at the mercy of WAFB and Greg Merriweather. This time we have an opportunity to expose Baton Rouge’s laundry list of social injustice nationally.