For the very first time, Cameron Sterling, the teenage son of Alton Sterling, is speaking out in the wake of his father's death. Cameron Sterling, who is 15 years old, wants the world to know about who his father really was and is calling for peace, unity, and for people to protest the right way.
As Cameron Sterling is grieving over the police shooting death of his father, he spoke to CBS This Morning. Cameron wants people to know that his father's death hasn't changed his opinion that "all police aren't bad." He continued to state, "I truly just want everyone to protest the right way -- protesting in peace. Not in violence. Not beating the police, not police beating the people. That makes no sense. That make things worse. You have to make things better by making peace."
Cameron went on to say, "I feel that people in general, no matter what their race is, should come together as one united family. There should be no more arguments, disagreements, violence, crimes. Everyone should come together as one united family." Cameron has also asked the public protesting to not bring alcohol or guns to demonstrations.
Alton Sterling, 37 years old, was fatally shot by police in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on July 5 at Triple S Food Mart. Sterling had frequented Triple S Food Mart and would sell CDs outside. According to the store owner Abdullah Muflahi, he calls Sterling his friend and said that he knew him for years. According to The Advocate, Abdullah Muflahi had nicknamed Sterling as the CD man.
Abdullah Muflahi has also filed a lawsuit against the Baton Rouge police for the way he was also treated the night Sterling was killed. Muflahi claims he was illegally detained after he recorded the shooting between police and Sterling on his cellphone, via WWL.
In the early morning that Alton Sterling was killed, police officers Blane Salamoni and Howie Lake responded to a disturbance call that claimed someone had a gun and pointed at them. When police responded they found Alton Sterling in the parking lot of the food mart. As Sterling was detained by police, Sterling was tasered and pushed on top of the hood of a car, then the ground. While officers had Sterling on the ground, one officer claimed that Sterling had a gun and was reaching for it. That is when officers shot Sterling multiple times, according to NBC.
According to the Baton Rouge Coroner William Clark, Alton had been shot multiple times in the back and chest. William Clark reported that Sterling was shot in the back and the bullets exited his chest, reported Heavy.
District Attorney Hillar Moore stated,"The officers feel they were completely justified," via the Officer.
Philando Castile was shot the day after Sterling in Minnesota. Castile was shot multiple times and was killed by Minnesota police officer Jeronimo Yanez during a traffic stop while Castile was in his car. Castile's girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, was sitting in the passenger seat of the car when Officer Yanez shot him. Reynolds grabbed her mobile phone and filmed the entire incident as it happened and aired it on Facebook live. Reynold's 4-year-old daughter was also in the car at the time of Castile's death, according to Yahoo News.
Since Alton Sterling's death, more shootings have occurred across the United States and many police officers have become targets. In Dallas, during a Black Lives Matter protest against police killings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, five police were shot and killed and seven other officers were shot by snipers.
In Minnesota, 21 police officers have been injured during protests along Interstate 94. According to a report from KARE, Valerie Castile, mother of Philando Castile, is also asking for peace. Valerie Castile said, "On behalf of myself and our entire family, we urge all people to remain peaceful in all demonstrations throughout our community and our nation. When demonstrations become violent, it disrespects my son and his memory. Philando was a man of peace and dignity. Please, I ask you to at all times remain peaceful in your expressions of concern regarding his death at the hands of the police. I promise that we will not rest until justice prevails."
Cameron Sterling said, "No matter what anyone else has to say about him, truly in my heart, I know he was a good dad." Cameron explained to CBS about crying during a news conference alongside his mother, "When I put my arm around her, it's like somebody else's hand touched me, like I had another hand laying on top of my hand. And when I looked over, was nobody else touching me. Nobody else was touching me. And it was like at that moment I knew: my daddy here -- he right on the side of her," Cameron said. "We're standing here as a family together once again. That's when I just started crying... I knew I can't physically have him back, so I knew I had to cry, just to be like, 'I want my daddy back.'"
[Photo by Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images]