As the Baton Rouge community continues to demand justice in the police killing of 37-year-old father of five Alton Sterling, his loved ones came together to bid farewell.
The Southern University basketball arena was flooded with thousands of family and friends who came out to pay their last respects to Alton just before he was laid to rest on Friday morning. Heartbreaking photos from the funeral service showed family members inconsolable as they stood over Alton’s open casket just before the service began. Civil Rights leaders Rev. Jesse Jackson & Rev. Al Sharpton, as well as a White House representative and several other notable political figures were also on hand for the somber homegoing service.
Community members and mourners also attended the public funeral. One attendee, who is white, wore a sign bearing the words “Black America I’m Sorry!!” as she walked up to Alton’s casket to say goodbye. Although Alton’s death has resulted in a number of protests across the country calling for justice, Sterling family spokesperson Gary Chambers made it clear that demonstrations would not be welcome at his funeral service. “‘If you want to protest please leave now,’ he told the crowd, after noting that the ceremony was intended to be a celebration of Alton’s life instead of a protest of his death.
May he rest in peace as we continue to offer our thoughts and prayers to his children, family and friends during this difficult time.
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