The police involved shooting death of an unarmed black motorcyclist drew more than 200 protesters into the streets of Washington, D.C., Monday night.
Protesters are demanding answers to the shooting death of 31-year-old Terrance Sterling, who died after suffering gunshot wounds to the neck and back following an altercation with officers of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) Sept. 11. Demonstrators want Mayor Muriel Bowser to release additional footage of the encounter, but the mayor’s office says the footage cannot be released due to privacy issues. The officer who fired the shots did not have his body camera turned on prior to the incident and only activated it after firing on Sterling, reports WUSA9.
Bowser released footage from the officer’s body camera last week, but protesters want more clarity on the shooting. The family of Terrence Sterling is expected to meet with the chair of the police union this week to discuss the case.
“You told us you wanted to be accountable and you wanted to stand up for your city,” a protester told WUSA9 Monday. “You didn’t do that. You lied to us.”
The police say officers began following Sterling after noticing a man on a motorcycle driving erratically. Officers with the MPD fired on Sterling after he allegedly drove his motorcycle into the passenger side door of their police cruiser.
Witnesses contradicted the police account, claiming that the collision was an accident and that the officer leaned out his window and shot Sterling, who was unarmed. Both officers involved in the shooting are on administrative leave pending the conclusion of the department’s investigation. The officer who fired the shots is Brian Trainer, 27, a four-year member of the MPD.
“Police in D.C. have to be accountable,” April Goggans, a Black Lives Matter organizer, told WTOP at a protest last week. “We want the names of the officers and we want them fired immediately.”
City officials reworked the body camera policy for the police department in the wake of the shooting, taking steps to confirm an officer has the camera turned on before responding to a call.
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