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The police killing of Baton Rouge, LA resident Alton Sterling sparked outrage across the country, as protesters, activists and ordinary citizens decried yet another act of police violence against black people.

Sterling was shot at close proximity while being held on the ground by Baton Rouge officers after having been accused of illegally selling CDs. At least one witness claimed to have seen police remove a gun from Sterling's pocket, but said he never saw Sterling pull the firearm on the officers.


The shocking cell-phone footage a bystander took of the killing immediately went viral across social media Tuesday evening, igniting renewed calls for action.

Warning: this video contains images of graphic violence

On Tuesday, protesters began congregating at the site of Sterling's death—a small Baton Rouge convenience store— reportedly chanting "Hands up don't shoot" and "Black Lives Matter," as their numbers grew.

Local crime reporter Bryn Stole documented the protests on Twitter.

As night fell, protesters took to the street.

According to the Times-Picayune, the crowd eventually numbered several hundred people, with many connecting Sterling's death to that of other, high profile police killings of young black men around the country.


"We may not be from where Trayvon (Martin) and Freddie Gray are from, but we bleed the same color," a woman who declined to be identified told the paper. "Now they've touched our city."

By Wednesday morning, protests had moved to the Baton Rouge city hall ahead of a scheduled press conference to address the shooting.

During that press conference, Sterling's son broke down in tears alongside his mother, as she read a statement.

Reactions to Sterling's death have poured in across social media as people woke Wednesday morning and learned what had happened.

On Instagram, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick posted footage of Sterlin's shooting, describing it as "what lynchings look like in 2016!"

New York Jets linebacker Darron Lee expressed his sorrow, as well.

Musician and actress Kiki Palmer responded with a quote attributed to actor Jesse Williams, whose recent speech at the BET Awards became instantly iconic.

Rapper and activist Chuck D weighed in as well.

On Wednesday morning, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards announced that the U.S. Department of Justice's civil rights division will spearhead an investigation, with the help of the FBI, the U.S. attorney's office, and state police.