Scholarship Drive for Alton Sterling Kids Raises $688,509

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Alton Sterling and family

The social media campaign scholarship fund drive for the children of Alton Sterling who was executed by police in Baton Rouge, Louisiana raised $688,509 exceeding its goal of $200,000.

The campaign was launched by Issa Rae star of the YouTube phenom show "Awkward Black Girl"  (which is headed to HBO later this year) on July 6 and the $200,000 was met within three hours.

Issa Rae had posted "@IssaRae Here it is: Donate to the #AltonSterling Family Scholarship Fund. *ALL* proceeds will go to his fam:"

Ultimately 23,544 people contributed a total of $688,509 within a five day period. 

On July 6, Sterling, a 37-year-old father of five was subdued by two officers who pinned him down on the ground; one of the officers then shot him multiple times in the chest at pointblank range. A cellphone video of the killing by a witness later went viral on social media. 

The officers who killed Sterling were named by the police department as Officer Blane Salamoni, who has been on the force four years, and Howie Lake, three years on the force. Both are on paid leave.

On July 5, in a separate shooting in St. Paul, Minnesota, a police officer shot and killed Philando Castile, 32, after stopping him for a broken tail light.  Castile's girlfriend live streamed the aftermath of the shooting, showing her boyfriend in visible distress from a chest wound.  Their four year old daughter was in the back seat. Castile's girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, said the officer had asked Castile for his ID but shot him when he reached for his wallet. 

There were several protest marches last week Thursday at towards the end of a march in Dallas, Texas, 11 officers were shot, five fatally, by a gunman who was later killed by police.

The Justice Department is investigating Sterling's killing in Louisiana and in Minnesota the governor, Mark Dayton, who said he believed the shooting was racially motivated, has called on the U.S. to investigate.

 

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