Friday’s funeral in Baton Rouge, Louisiana for police brutality victim Alton Sterling saw hundreds in attendance, including guest speakers such as Rev. Jesse Jackson and Rev. Al Sharpton.
Sterling, 37 was brutally murdered June 5 after he was shot in the back and chest by police at a store, where he regularly sold CDs.
According to The Huffington Post, the heartfelt service honoring Sterling’s life featured powerful speeches, songs and poems, addressing the issue of black lives being loss at the hands of law enforcement across the nation.
“We’re not trying to convince you we matter. We know we matter,” Sharpton lamented in a rousing speech. “We have an inferior judicial system that does not protect all of it’s citizens equally.”
“There is no substitute for justice,” Jackson addsed on the subject. “Not a check, not legal settlement, not a proclamation, not a street sign. Only justice will do.”
Sterling’s character was praised at the service, in which he was fondly remembered by family and friends alike contrary to the negativity portrayed by the media.
“He liked to laugh and make others laugh. He was always the life of the party,” said Sister Sateria Tate-Alexander. “He was loved by everyone.”
Abdullah Muflahi, the owner of Triple S store where Sterling was shot, remembers: “Alton wasn’t just a CD man in front of my store. He was also a good friend of mine.”
“He showed me a lot of love. He was friendly, welcoming, he was truly the meaning of Southern hospitality,” he continued. “He was a big-hearted, sweet kind, selfless person. He made himself a place in everyone’s heart.”
Sterling was the 558th person to be shot and killed by police this year.