Opinion: Alton Sterling- Was It Murder?

 

Alton Stewart portrait

#AltonSterling

When reviewing the video tape of the shooting of Alton Sterling, one need only look at the tape closely to develop the opinion that the actions of the  police officers exhibited an intent to kill. Now, intent, according to my information, and to legal scholars, is difficult to prove. Simply because it requires that one review the available evidence and use it to get inside the mind of the person committing the act.  Both of the available videos present information that is not only troubling, but displays what appears to be deliberate deception in an attempt to conceal their intent to murder Alton Sterling. A review of the tape leaves one with the opinion that Officers Howie Lake II and Blane Salamoni.

First, it does not matter what happened at the beginning of the video as some seem to suggest, as if the murder of someone requires what led up to the actual shooting. That may be so in some cases, but clearly not so in this particular case.

Next, the fact that the body cameras belonging to both of the officers became “dislodged” is dubious. One perhaps, but two? One need only see how the body cameras are secured to the front of the officer’s shirt, and then see it dangling at the side of Officer Blane Salamoni and that is where the problems begin. And, the fact that the officers make certain that they  are hidden behind a vehicle is also suspicious.

Then, one must note that both of Alton Sterling’s hands were pinned down, and that is clearly visible in the tape. And both of his hands were empty.

But it is the deception which makes their motives clear. For, they seem to perform for the benefit of the recorders. Suddenly, when they have both of his hands tied down, Lake shouts “Gun! …”, then with the gun pointing at his chest, pinned down, on the ground, Lake says, “Get on the ground! …”  Sterling was already on the ground! So why would they yell for him to get on the ground? For the purpose of documenting, ( without benefit of the body cameras), the events which led to what they were about to do. Because, at the time, not only was Sterling pinned down and unable to move, but Salamoni’s gun was pointed directly at the chest of Alton Sterling. He fires, several times at point-blank range into the chest of Alton Sterling. Lake then pulls something out of Sterling’s pocket, and it appears as if it was Sterling’s gun, and, an eyewitness says that it was indeed a gun. then as he moves away, Sterling moves his hand, and Salamoni tosses it aside as if the arm is a piece of garbage. However, that is not all.

Salamoni then moves far away from Sterling, and fires several more shots. (It is not clear if he is doing that for the purpose of the dash cam on the police vehicle or not, but one can surmise that was his purpose for doing so.) He poses with his gun aimed in the direction of Sterling, who already appears to be dead. So it looks as if Salamoni was attempting to establish a visual record.

Even more troubling is the fact that, were it not for the two videos, their cover story of him brandishing a gun, their story would have been believed and would have been credible. A story that they have told before.

The fact that these two had been cleared prior regarding other excessive force towards African-American citizens on four previous occasions leads one to several conclusions and opinions: a) That they had done this before; and b) that they were doing it with malice and out of hatred.

Have they killed anyone else? At this point, there is no way to be certain. But, in the opinion of this writer, they have indeed done this before, for the cold and calculated manner in which they killed Alton Sterling and the performance in which they verbally engaged in suggests that they knew that they were going to kill him. Could they be serial killers? Is that possible? They acted in such lock-step with one another, these questions must surely be ones that come to mind. Review the tape and answer them for yourself. However, paid administrative leave should not be in force at this time. They should be arrested. Even though the Department of Justice, in a rare move, took over the complaint immediately per the request of Louisiana officials, they should be arrested.

The Baton Rouge Police Department has already issued a report which contains an obvious lie.   A detective says in a report, apparently quoting one of the officers, that Sterling had reached for his gun. When? While they were throwing him on the hood of a car?  Or when they had him pinned down and both of his hands were empty? The words within the report cannot erase what one has seen with their own eyes. Again, they should be arrested … now.

The video and documentation of the prior complaints against Blaine and Lake are provided on the links below.

#AltonSterling

http://www.cnn.com/videos/us/2016/07/07/alton-sterling-baton-rouge-police-shooting-witness-sot-newday.cnn/video/playlists/alton-sterling-shot-in-baton-rouge/

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/alton-sterling-shooting-police-baton-rouge-shown-in-new-video/

http://www.wafb.com/story/32394209/the-investigators-both-involved-officers-have-had-previous-use-of-force-incidents

http://www.bet.com/news/national/2016/07/12/update–officers-who-killed-alton-sterling-make-new-claims-about.html

 

 

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Filed under Injustice, Opinion, Radar Opinion

Opinion: Has The Name NRA Ever Been On Your Ballot?

nra_cartoon

I don’t know about anyone else, but I have never seen the name of the NRA on any ballot. But, one would think that they had run for Congress, won, and continue to hold office.  One need only listen to what measure placed before either house is reported as having been “not approved by the NRA” for passage. (Huh?)  And therein lies the problem. It is well known that the NRA, donates huge sums of money to political campaigns of Republicans in both Houses of Congress. One only need visit  http://www.opensecrets.org/   to review to which congressperson received those donations. And then take a look at how they have historically voted on gun related issues.  Notably, one of those who has received donations from the NRA is the Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan as well as other congressperson along with members of the Senate.  And, apparently, in order to continue receiving those donations and thereby continue to remain in office, they seemingly seek approval of  the suggested legislation by the NRA  before voting.  When that approval is not given, the bill simply does not pass. But what is worse is that  in the House of Representatives, the Speaker of the House can refuse to allow a vote on any legislation and it is completely discretionary. Hence the gridlock and why the frustration of the Democrats in the House boiled over to the point of their sit-in. They had no other mechanism via which they could be heard.

Then there is the issue of representation. If you are a Democrat, are your rights to equal representation being denied? Is the voice which you are guaranteed via the Constitution of the United States being stilled while  the NRA has a voice and quietly ‘votes’ in both houses of Congress?

It should not matter what the NRA approves under any circumstances. Yet it continues to the point that Republican presumptive nominee, Donald Trump even said publicly that he was going to “negotiate” with the NRA as to gun control laws . What?  I may have missed something, but since when does the NRA have the final say? Were they on a ballot and perhaps I just did not see it?  If no one can find their name on any ballot, then the American people, (no matter which side you are on), should express outrage as to the perpetual ‘kissing of the ring‘ of the NRA gun lobby.

Please do not fall for their supposed mantra of “standing up for gun owners“. Their main purpose is to support gun manufacturers, not gun owners. They are funded primarily by gun manufacturers, otherwise, they would listen to the majority of their members who support the #NoFlyNoBuy legislation. Yet the NRA pretends to be concerned about the due process rights of people who are not legitimately on the ‘No Fly’ list.

They assert to be in support of the Constitution of the United States of America. Specifically, the 2nd amendment. But what about that very important part of the Constitution which guarantees one very special right? The right to ‘life‘. A right which was so tragically denied to those children in Sandy Hook elementary school when they were so brutally slaughtered in Connecticut, who had only briefly enjoyed life ; those who were cut down in San Bernadino, California ; and, more recently, those who were at the nightclub in Orlando, Florida. The NRA was silent when a gunman who described himself as someone who was speaking out for the right to life of unborn babies. While shooting and killing innocent people and robbing them of their life?

In 1776, the United States Declaration of Independence declared that:     “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”.
 Allow your conscience to guide you, and if you feel that somehow the NRA has way too much power and influence over Congress, then let Speaker Paul Ryan know how you feel,  as well as your own legislator in both houses of Congress. (A link to contact him is listed below.) Because, no matter which side of the issue you are own, this is about the usurping of the people’s voice to be heard, and it really is all about ‘We The People‘.

 

Related Links:

http://www.opensecrets.org/news/issues/guns/

https://www.thenation.com/article/the-shaming-of-paul-ryan-is-now-complete/

http://www.speaker.gov/contact

 

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Filed under Opinion, Politics, Radar Opinion, Uncategorized