Will there be justice for Alton Sterling?

Well, depends on what your definitiom of justice is?

Alton Sterling was shot to death while being held down by two, white police officers of the Baton Rouge Police Department. The shooting occurred on July 16, 2016 which was followed by protests in the city of Baton Rouge. Sterling was 37 years of age, Black, with 5 children. Everyone knew him lcoally as the man who sold CDs to make a living for himself and his family.

It was a sad day to see his son on the television drenched in tears as his mother gave her thoughts on the shooting. She reflected on how Alton Sterling had a good heart and meant well, however he did have his encounters with law enforcement in the past. 

Following the shooting, the FBI and Department of Justice (DOJ) opened a federal investigation of the Baton Rouge Police Department. Me, I am all too familiar with DOJ reports that point out the pitfalls of police departments or agencies and how they should improve their behaviors and functions (google Department of Justice report on Ferguson Police Department, that is a good one for starters). 

Well, back to the question at hand… Justice? Many people flock to the common consensus of “this system was not made for us, so it won’t protect us” but when I examine the system, I see that it was made for Americans. Laws and regulations guide our everyday behaviors even those who practice, so at the end of the day, it is about the choices we make and how they affect us.


Justice in the case of Alton Sterling takes several meanings…

  • Let’s lock the officers involved up and throw away the key
  • Sentence the officers to death (very touchy)
  • Pay the family of Alton Sterling a lump sum of money for a violation of his civil rights

And that’s just to name a few but will it happen? Who knows? As a student pursuing a master’s degree in the field of criminal justice, I see both angles and I see all scenarios. I am not saying the officers had to act the way they did and nor am I saying Alton Sterling’s shooting is justified. I am SAYING, when will JUSTICE be JUSTIFIED? 

The cup is empty, Black Coffee🖤☕️

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#RIPHANNAHBAKER

First, I want to give my review of 13 Reasons Why, because it was definitely a thought-provoking series that has garnered attention from many people. Initially, before I watched 13 Reasons Why, I assumed it was going to be a cliche’ washed out version of what people “think” suicide is, but man was I wrong. Hannah Baker, who is the main character of 13 Reasons Why, narrated a series of 13 cassette tapes which explained her encounters leading up to her suicide. I will not say what was on the tapes, that is for you to watch if you have not watched it yet; But for those of you who have watched the series, you know what I am talking about. Watching the series was like taking a walk in the shoes of a girl who was traumatized by the very events happening around her, both big and little. It was tense to watch because death is no beautiful thing.

BUT DID YOU KNOW…

Over 44,000 people living in the United States have committed suicide. It may not seem like a large number, but my dear friends, that is a considerably LARGE amount of people. Does that bother me? YESSS, because that is an INCREASE compared to previous years. The National Institute of Mental Health (NIHM) reported 44,195 people committed suicide in the United States in the year 2015 (two years ago). Among that amount, more males committed suicide than females, however more females attempted to commit suicide. 

SUICIDE IS THE 2ND LEADING CAUSE OF DEATH AMONG PEOPLE BETWEEN THE AGES OF 15-34…

Now, I am assuming most of my readers are among this age group in the statistic I pointed out above because I am as well. When you examine the number of people who have committed suicide, and most of them fall between the ages of 15 and 34, this should be a wake-up call. 

suicide

I know talking about suicide can make people feel uncomfortable, but if it makes you uncomfortable, then you need to become more aware of it. What is suicide? Suicide is defined and death caused by self-directed injurious behavior with INTENT to die as a result of the behavior. I emphasized INTENT, because that means suicide is purposefully committed on the part of the individual who has decided to carry it out.

How many times have we encountered someone who has had suicidal thoughts or ideation? How many times have we brushed it off? It is important to understand what suicide is and the symptoms of those who are contemplating suicide. Below I shared some helpful links to suicide prevention websites for you to GET INFORMED. Also, there is a National Suicide Prevention Line that can be accessed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Anyone can call, and all services are CONFIDENTIAL.

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Helpful links on Suicide Prevention and Awareness:

Suicide Prevention Lifeline

National Institute of Mental Health

I just had to share this because everyone is talking about (it), but no one is becoming aware.

The cup is empty, BlackCoffeeee