Family of Alton Sterling condemns 'reprehensible act of violence' against Dallas officers
BATON ROUGE - The mother of Alton Sterling’s son has issued a statement via the family’s attorney after five police officers were shot and killed at a protest in Dallas on Thursday night.
“We wholeheartedly reject the reprehensible acts of violence that were perpetrated against members of the Dallas Police Department,” begins the statement issued by Quinyetta McMillon’s attorneys, L. Chris Stewart and Justin Bamberg.
Twelve police officers and two civilians were shot by a pair of snipers in downtown Dallas. Several hundred people were gathered at Dallas’ Belo Garden Park to march to the Old Red Courthouse near Main and Market streets to protest two recent officer-involved shootings that left two black men dead. The rally ended when shots were fired around 9 p.m.
“Our hearts break for the families of the officers who were lost as they protected protesters and residents alike during the rally,” continues the statement. “Regardless of how angry or upset people may be, resorting to this kind of sickening violence should never happen and simply cannot be tolerated.”
Two days ago, Quinyetta McMillon and her 15-year-old son, Cameron Sterling, appeared at a press conference on the steps of Baton Rouge’s City Hall. Cameron was the oldest of Sterling’s children. A second African-American man, Philando Castle, was killed when Minnesota police opened fired after the man had been pulled over for a broken taillight.
“We maintain that officers who violate the public trust and their training should be held accountable through our country’s justice system,” concludes the statement. “Responding to violence with violence is not the answer.”
On Wednesday, it was announced that the Department of Justice will take the lead on the investigation into the shooting of 37-year-old Alton Sterling by two BRPD officers in front of a convenience store on North Foster Drive.
Authorities are still not certain that they have identified everyone involved in the attack at the downtown protest. Dallas Police Chief David Brown said a suspect in the overnight attack said he was upset over the recent police shootings of black men and wanted to kill white people.