Alton Sterling remembered as 'Big Boy' by loved ones

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Alton Sterling remembered as Big Boy by loved ones

Baton Rouge - During the press conference, Sterling's son, Cameron, broke down in tears, saying "I want my daddy!."

By Agencies

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Published: Thu 7 Jul 2016, 11:53 AM

Last updated: Thu 7 Jul 2016, 3:14 PM

37-year-old Alton Sterling killed by Baton Rouge police was a good-humoured person nicknamed "Big Boy" who was orphaned young, loved children and earned a living selling CDs of music downloaded from the internet, said family and friends who knew him.
Sterling was fatally shot in the early hours of Wednesday after an anonymous caller told police they had been threatened by a man with a gun, according to a police statement.
The US Justice Department is investigating the video-recorded killing of Sterling, a black man who police say had a gun as he wrestled with two white officers outside a convenience store.
The shooting as well as two video recordings of the incident have sparked outcry at a time when law enforcement officers nationwide are being carefully watched for their use of force.
As officials scrambled to defuse the quickly escalating situation, family and friends mourned Sterling.
At an emotional press conference held earlier with relatives of the victim, the head of the civil rights group NAACP in Baton Rouge, Michael McClanahan, called for the resignations of the police chief and mayor.
"What we are going to do today is rule out the one percent of bad police officers that go around becoming the judge, the jury, the executioner of people period but more specifically, innocent black lives," he said.
Quinyetta McMillon, the mother of Sterling's teenage son, trembled as she read a statement outside City Hall.

"The individuals involved in his murder took away a man with children who depended upon their daddy on a daily basis."
"He had to watch this as this was put all over the outlets. As a mother I have now been forced to raise a son who is going to remember what happened to his father," she said.
During the press conference, Sterling's son, Cameron, one of his five children, broke down in tears, saying "I want my daddy!," as his mother spoke.
Alton Sterling had five children, 15, 3 and about 10 years old boys, and 1-year-old twins, a boy and a girl.
Edmond Jordan, an attorney representing Sterling's family, had demanded the investigation be carried out by an neutral third party "to ensure that there is no cover-up."
"We are praying that the truth ultimately comes out from this. We think with an independent investigation we can get down to that."
A video shot by a witness and circulated online showed two officers ordering a tall, heavy-set black man to the ground outside the convenience store.
As he remained standing, the officers wrestled him onto the roof of a car and then to the ground. While he was pinned down by the officers, one pulled a gun and shot him several time at close range.
The East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner's Office said Sterling was killed by multiple gunshot wounds to the chest and back, WAFB television reported.

Tributes to Alton Sterling
Larry Sterling said his cousin's mother died in 1989 and his father died a few years later. He said his mother, Veda Sterling Washington, and her sister Sandra Sterling raised Alton Sterling, his two younger sisters and younger brother.

"We grew up in the same household, from babies up until we was adults and moved out on our own," Larry Sterling said in a phone interview from Baton Rouge.
"Every time you see Alton, he's smiling," Larry Sterling said.
Larry Sterling and another cousin who grew up in the same household said their cousin had been selling the CDs to make money for about six years.
Sharida Sterling, also interviewed by phone, said that if she couldn't give him a ride to the convenience store, Alton Sterling would take a bus, carrying a folding table and chair and the box of CDs. She said the store management never had any problems with the informal stand, but police harassed her cousin. She suspected it was because he was black and a "big guy."
Abdullah Muflahi, the 28-year-old owner of the Triple S 24-hour convenience store where the shooting took place, said Sterling had been selling mixed CDs - rap music and other types of CDs - for a few years outside the front of his store and that he had never presented any problems. He said he used the nickname "Big Boy" for Sterling.
An officer yelled "gun" during the scuffle with Sterling, who wasn't holding a gun or trying to reach for one, Muflahi said.
"He was a very happy guy, always laughing, joking around. He was never angry, never violent," he said
Larry Sterling said that, for fun, his cousin would take both their children to a movie or to the park: "The kids loved Alton."

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