Louisiana- A great crowd gathered in Baton Rouge Friday to mourn the death of Alton Sterling. Black men are now part of the series of cases of police brutality in the U.S. that had happened in the past years. The funeral was an opportunity to say goodbye to the father of 5, but it was also part of a political declaration.

The Funeral was held in a Baton Rouge auditorium for a special memorial service, and it was full of powerful messages, says the Huffington Post. Pastors and other speaker talk about peace, spirit of praise and the cause to end police attacks to the black community. Poems, songs, and speeches gave a strong message on the importance of ending violence.

Mourners made Alton Sterling’s funeral a celebration. Credit: NBC News

NBC News reports that during the event, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Jr. called for a ceasing of violence to save the children and to save the nation. He continued saying that the strongest weapons are not guns nor violence, but the righteousness of their cause. Jackson added that innocent blood is powerful, that unearned suffering is redemptive. He said if Sterling had been killed in a shootout or a drug bust or robbery, people would not be there [supporting a cause].

The Huffington Post also reported that Jackson said that a substitute for justice does not exist. He said checks, legal settlement, proclamations or street sign will be not enough. Only justice will do.

Rev. Al Sharpton said in his speech that Americans have an inferior judicial system that fails to protect all of its citizens equally.  He added that Black people and the movement against police brutality are not anti-police. Al Sharpton referred to the movement Black Lives Matter and said “We’re not trying to convince you we matter. We know we matter,” said the Huffington Post.

Abdullah Muflahi, the owner of the Triple S, recalled him as a good friend and a constant presence outside the store. He defined him as the truly Southern hospitality.

Sterling, the 558th victim, shot and killed by the police this year

Alton Sterling was 37 years old when he was shot in front of the supermarket Triple S Food Mart last week, on July 5. 

Blane Salamoni and Howie Lake II killed Sterling after violently putting him on the ground, as seen in a cell phone video recorded by some witnesses.

Sterling was selling CD’s outside the store when the 2 officers greet him in a verbal altercation that grew violent, as reported by Pulse Headlines. The officers allegedly tasered Sterling and forced him to the ground when they noticed a gun on Sterling. Immediately after, Alton Sterling was shot on the back.

NBC News informs that the police went to the supermarket because the received a 911 call that reported that Sterling had threatened a person with a gun in the Triple S parking lot.

The 2 officers involved in Sterling’s death have been put on administrative leave, according to CNN.  Federal officials are handling the investigation.

Source: NBC News