(BATON ROUGE, La.) — Black Lives Matter hosted a candlelight vigil for Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge Wednesday night, one day after the 37-year-old was shot and killed by two police officers.
A crowd of mourners chanted “We love Baton Rouge” outside the convenience store where Sterling was killed, with people holding up balloons and signs pleading for justice.
The hashtag #AltonSterling was trending on Twitter as the vigil was held, with nearly 69,000 people tweeting about his death. One mourner free-style rapped about keeping the peace in wake of injustice in front of the hundreds who gathered from all over the state of Louisiana.
A moderator mentioned Sterling’s son before leading the crowd in a prayer. The crowd then passed lit candles around to hold up in a moment of silence for Sterling. Mourners were asked to recall their last memory of Sterling.
After a count of three, the crowd released balloons and said in unison, “Alton Sterling’s life mattered.” Following an eruption of cheers, people sang along and swayed to gospel music playing in the background.
Sterling was killed early Tuesday after an altercation with police in the parking lot of a convenience store. The Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice is leading an investigation into Sterling’s death, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards announced Wednesday.
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