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NPR: In Baton Rouge, Simmering Mistrust Divides Police, Community

triple-s-photos--4-_custom-bcd02779355b25553df115a5f46e9fec70dc3aa0-s800-c85The Triple S Mart in Baton Rouge has become a shrine and a gathering place for activists. It’s where Alton Sterling was shot and killed by police officers just over a week ago.

Standing in front of a large mural of Sterling at the convenience store, his son, 15-year-old Cameron Sterling said he hoped his father’s death would help bring people in the city together.

“My father was a good man,” Cameron said. “That was a sacrifice to show everybody what was going on.”

A police affidavit says Sterling was reaching for his gun when he was shot by officers. Sterling’s supporters believe the videos of the shooting show otherwise.

The investigation is now in the hands of the federal government — not local prosecutors — and many in Baton Rouge believe that’s for the best.

Two Baton Rouges

Even before last week’s fatal police shooting, there was a lack of trust in Baton Rouge between law enforcement and the city’s African-American community. The police force is mostly white in a city that’s mostly black.

Following Sterling’s death, law enforcement agencies responded forcefully to protesters, arresting some 200 people. Police say they were protecting the city from widespread violence. But that response widened the gap between the black community and the city’s police force.

Read the full story here.

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