This week there are have been several terrible and incredibly sad events in our country. One of them in my own back yard of Baton Rouge. The photographer inside me couldn't stay away from visiting the location where Alton Sterling was shot and killed by two police officers several days ago. I wanted to help share with my limited time and resources just a little more of the story that has sept the nation.
Today was hot. So very hot. But even more then that the humidity made you drenched in sweat as soon as you stepped out of the door. On this Sunday morning the place was mostly quiet. About 2 dozen protestors were standing around and talking to each other and were very willing to talk to any reporters that came by. There were two news tents set up, one from FOX and another from MSNBC. Each one providing a bit of relief and shade to the news crews who were waiting to document anything that might happen. But while I was there nothing did, and thats a good thing. Last night over 120 members of the black panthers were arrested when protests grew out of hand, but today they were peaceful. Even a security guard for MSNBA said he was impressed at how the protests were unfolding today.
At 4 there is supposed to be another protest at the city hall.
On the front of the triple S, the owner allowed local artist Jo Hines to spray paint a mural of the late Alton Sterling on the wall. Spray paint RIP messages were all over the parking lot.
There was a steady stream of people stopping by to take selfies, leave flowers, candles and pay their regards. Other than a few members the news crews I was the only while and blonde girl I saw the entire time onsite, but everyone was very willing to speak me and let me take their pictures. People are hurt, and they just want their voices to be heard, even if only to a solo freelance photographer.
One guy I spoke with - Isaac Taggart Jr. - was from Cali, and had driven all the way from Atlanta to help join in the protests. He wasn't full of hate for the cops, but he believes that more police need to come from within their own communities, and that he is saddened that these acts of violence happen to african americans all across the country. He doesn't think all Police are bad, but that there are bad apples that are spoiling the bunch.
He didn't have too much to say about the shooting in Dallas except that he did not condone what happened, and fighting fire with fire just creates more fire.
Another man I spoke with was much more angry. He was sharing how he has been "knocking down the Po since the early 90's", because the more he knocks down the less there are to shoot him. He also showed me scars on his arms from where police K-9's had bitten him. The security guard for FOX said he was a "dangerous man" and that he was a former heavyweight boxing campion.