D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) released on Sept. 27 the name of the officer who allegedly shot Terrence Sterling and a video of the incident. The officer is identified as Brian Trainer, 27, a four-year veteran of the police department. The video was released after protestors took to the streets in Washington, D.C. near New York and New Jersey Avenue in the Northwest quadrant of the city to mourn the death of another victim of police brutality.
(Screengrab from cell phone video via news report and courtesy photo of Terrence Sterling (inset))
“We’re at 300 M St. NW where are you DC??? You should be outraged out here with us for #TerrenceSterling,” a Black Lives Matter activist sent out via Twitter. Terrence Sterling was a HVAC technician and that reportedly had just left a bachelor party. He lived in Fort Washington, Md.
In videos on Periscope [https://www.periscope.tv/ItsNeeTay/1OdKrYVYLNyxX], protesters shouted: “Terrence Sterling” and “Black Lives Matter” as they blocked the streets.
According to news reports, the protest began in the morning, during rush hour, on Sept. 26 in the same spot that Sterling, 31, was killed. The protest wrapped up before noon, but during the demonstration, protestors called for more transparency from the D.C. government.
Some protestors stayed on the scene to decorate a traffic sign with teddy bears, signs, and other trinkets in memory of Sterling. A public information officer for the Metropolitan Police Department told the AFRO that an officer was at the scene of the protest, but only to make sure that traffic continued to move smoothly during the rush hour commute.
“MPD and their ‘Special Police’ mercenary counterparts have no interest in protecting or serving Black lives.” Erin Shields, co-chair of the DC Chapter of Black Youth Project 100, said in a release Sept. 19.
On Sept. 27, Kevin Donahue, deputy mayor of public safety tweeted that a video of the police-involved shooting was released. View the video here: . The video begins after Sterling was shot and lying on the ground. According to the police, Sterling was “recklessly” driving his motorcycle near the 1700 block of U Street NW. Another officer saw the same motorcycle near 3rd Street and M Street NW. The officer exited the passenger side of his cruiser to stop the driver, when the motorcyclist “intentionally” drove into the passenger door and an officer’s weapon discharged.
On Sept. 12, Bowser held a news conference, where she said the officer involved in the shooting was wearing a body camera, but failed to turn it on.
Donahue tweeted, “Past 30 days: MPD officers activated body cameras 55,000 times & recorded 11,000 hours of footage; 10 instances where BWC wasn’t turned on,” Donahue tweeted on Sept. 27.
“Terrence’s death illuminates why we fight to divest from police and invest resources in Black communities. Investments in officer-worn body cameras and sensitivity trainings for police do not reduce frequency or increase accountability in police killings of civilians. They simply expand police budgets. Those funds should be taken away from police departments and invested into our communities,” Shields said.