Alton Sherling
Van Nuys Senior High School

‘Black Lives Matter’ — a teen’s perspective on Alton Sterling

Racial discrimination is a major factor in our lives. As an allusion to the 1600s, African-Americans have always held a target on their shoulders, beginning first with slavery, and now misjudgment due to the color of their skin. Why is it that humans can’t treat members of their own species with the respect everyone deserves? What is it about African-Americans that they’re led to live their life in fear of death with lack of reason?

The last time I heard, when someone isn’t advancing or resisting vigorously, there isn’t a valid reason to shoot them. It’s absolutely pathetic and disturbing to see so many people of color killed as a result of police brutality. I’ve lost count of how many police officers haven’t been convicted of murder.

Recently, in Baton Rouge, La., a shooting occurred, representing the epitome of everything that is wrong with the world. Alton Sterling was a 37-year-old black man shot several times, while being restricted on the ground by police outside a convenience store. These incumbents took a life, handled him unjustly, and killed him without any regard. Apparently, this was the officer’s response to a 911 call made reporting a man with a gun outside a convenience store.

According to a bystander, Sterling was “brandishing a gun”, not pointing it at someone. Another witness, who happens to have known Sterling for six years, stated that the victim never got into fights, or aroused any trouble. What was the police officers reasoning behind all this?

This tragic happening can once again be filed under police brutality; that folder is getting full.

This intentional use of excessive force has not desisted and it continues to grow. Does a federal position of authority equate to murder? In the U.S., police brutality is condemned, yet we still see occurrences of fatal pursuits of unarmed (or armed) black individuals. The true purpose of law enforcement has been concealed, and many personal opinions have overridden the underlying duties of officers.

Ironically, it’s safe to say that police brutality has reached its acme of extremity. This illicit behavior must not go uncovered. Otherwise, what would that say about mankind?

It’s devastating to think that African-American kids are now taught to be vigilant and conscientious due to the numerous shootings targeted towards their race. In denouement, when we see a continuous pattern, why aren’t we taking action? So many questions, so little answers, such little action.

Warning, explicit video below:

A video posted by Anon Boogie (@anon_boogie) on

RIP Trayvon Martin

RIP Sandra Bland

RIP Kathryn Johnston

RIP Rekia Boyd

RIP Amadou Diallo

RIP Mike Brown

RIP Kimani Gray

RIP Kenneth Chamberlain

RIP Travares McGill

RIP Tamir Rice

RIP Aiyana Stanley-Jones

RIP Freddie Gray

RIP Alton Sterling

RIP Philando Castille