Statement Regarding Alton Sterling Video Footage Release

March 30 2018

Today, Dr. Phillip Atiba Goff, president and cofounder of the Center for Policing Equity, released the following statement regarding the video footage released today of Alton Sterling’s 2016 shooting death: “Anyone who cares about the loss of innocent life suffered two blows this week. One was dealt when the Louisiana State Attorney ruled not to prosecute the officers involved in the Alton Sterling case and the other when more video showing his tragic shooting death was released."

People are angry all over again, and even more confused. By releasing these videos after deciding no officer will face legal consequences, the Baton Rouge community, and others, are being asked to relive the trauma of watching an innocent Black man’s life taken from him in a nation that too often has no remedy for that violence. What communities and police need most is a path forward, toward a more just future where these shootings and videos are shockingly rare—not traumatically familiar.

“There is no consolation—and no justice—to offer the family of Alton Sterling and the millions of families across the country who feel his loss personally. Still, we encourage the mayor, police chief, and community of Baton Rouge to continue working together. “While these actions will not bring back the dead or prevent the past, there are evidence-informed practices to curve the momentum of our tragic history. And at moments like this, it is towards that long arc of history we must look for hope. Because watching footage like this and mourning the death of unarmed Black men and women never gets easier, but the way that we learn from them can.”