Cameron Sterling, the eldest son of Alton Sterling—the Baton Rouge, La., man who was fatally gunned down by police officers at a convenience store, sparking protests across the nation—is now speaking out about his father's death, saying that Alton Sterling was a "good dad."
"I really want everyone to know, everyone nationwide, everyone in this world, to know that Alton Sterling was a good man," the 15-year-old told CBS News. "No matter what anyone else has to say about him, truly in my heart, I know he was a good dad."
Cameron relived the moment when he broke down on live television as his mother, Quinyetta McMillon, spoke about his father during a news conference last week.
"When I put my arm around her, it's like somebody else's hand touched me, like I had another hand laying on top of my hand. And when I looked over, was nobody else touching me. Nobody else was touching me. And it was like at that moment I knew: My daddy here, he's right on the side of her," Cameron said. "We're standing here as a family together once again. That's when I just started crying … I knew I can't physically have him back, so I knew I had to cry, just to be like, 'I want my daddy back.’”
Despite all Cameron has had to witness at his young age—including the actual loss of his father, whose police-involved shooting death was captured on video that has been widely circulated—his opinion on police, CBS notes, hasn't changed.
"They all aren't bad. There are some that are bad, but all aren't bad. How I feel? I feel all police shouldn't be punished for other police's crimes," Cameron said, referencing the Dallas shootings that left five officers dead. "The police in Dallas, Texas … they didn't deserve that because nobody knew if they had kids to go home to. Those kids need their parents."
His father's death, along with the shooting death of Philando Castile in Falcon Heights, Minn., prompted nationwide protests. In Dallas, a seemingly peaceful protest turned fatal when, authorities say, gunman Micah Johnson targeted and killed five police officers and wounded nine other people, including two civilians.
While Cameron is upset about the deaths in Dallas, he continues to urge people to protest, but to do so peacefully.
"What I want, what I ask, if you truly love my father, I truly just want everyone to protest the right way, protesting in peace. Not in violence," Cameron told the network. "Not beating the police, not police beating the people. That makes no sense. That make things worse. You have to make things better by making peace."
According to CBS, Cameron will be headed Thursday to Washington, D.C., where he is expected to meet President Barack Obama during a town hall, before laying his father to rest Friday.
Read more at CBS.