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Louisiana community mourns death of Alton Sterling at vigil

TRAGIC: Alton Sterling

THOUSANDS OF members of the black community came together last night (Jul 6) in prayer and peaceful protest during a candlelight vigil held at the place Alton Sterling died at the hands of two Baton Rouge police officers in Louisiana just one day earlier.

The graphic footage showing the moment the 37-year-old black man was shot dead by police for selling CDs outside a shop has caused widespread outrage.

Alton Sterling was shot in the chest and the back multiple times after officers caught him selling CDs in front of the Triple S Food Mart in the East Baton Rouge Parish at around 12.35am on Tuesday (July 5), the Coroner’s Office told WAFB-TV.

At last night's vigil, speakers urged attendees to hold police accountable. They urged the crowd to also hold politicians, the city of Baton Rouge, the black community and even God accountable for what happened to Sterling and what has happened to black men across the country as a result of police brutality.

“The relationship between police and black men?” asks Carl Williams, Sterling's childhood friend. “My belief is that the Ku Klux Klan is no longer wearing hoods but stars, badges. That's my belief.”

Williams, pastor of Ark of Safety Church, was one of many who led those gathered outside of the Triple S Food Mart in Baton Rouge in prayer.

Williams remembers Sterling as jolly and easy-going. He remembers Sterling for pulling pranks, saying Sterling often tried to scare him with plastic snakes.

"He was a very special person," Williams told The Advertiser. "I think he was chosen for this purpose. I really do."

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