Before the sun came up Monday morning, protesters had gathered at Third and M streets in Northwest Washington, D.C., to commemorate the first anniversary of the death of Terrence Sterling, an unarmed man who was shot and killed by police after his motorcycle hit a cruiser.
The morning began with a candlelight vigil at 4:20 a.m., the same time last year that officers reported a motorcycle was driving erratically around the Northwest D.C. neighborhood. A protest was scheduled to begin at 7 a.m.
Footage and photos shared on social media showed a mixed crowd demanding justice for Sterling and calls for D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser to fire Police Officers Brian Trainer and Jordan Palmer, the two cops involved in Sterling’s death. Both officers are still currently employed by the Metropolitan Police Department.
After a review that took nearly a year to complete, the U.S. attorney’s office declined to press charges against the officers involved in Sterling’s killing.
Sterling was killed in the early hours of Sept. 11, 2016, as he was driving toward the 3rd Street Tunnel on his way home from a bachelor party earlier that night. According to Fox 5 DC, two witnesses on the scene reported that a police cruiser, responding to reports of a motorcycle driving erratically, swerved in front of Sterling’s bike, causing him to hit the police car.
Police say that Officer Trainer was exiting the squad car when Sterling collided with it. Trainer shot Sterling in the neck and on the side. But while Trainer, a four-year veteran of the police force, was wearing a camera, he did not turn it on until after the shooting.
Sterling’s family and community are still seeking answers.
Sterling’s family’s lawyers told Fox 5 DC that they are still trying to gain access to footage from a Department of Homeland Security camera on Third and M, which they say captured the entire shooting. They also want that footage to be made public by Mayor Bowser. Sterling’s family has also filed a $50 million wrongful death lawsuit against Trainer.
Sterling’s death did prompt the city to change its bodycam policy, requiring Metro police officers to confirm to dispatchers that their cameras are on when they respond to calls. Little else, however, seems to have changed.
Read more at Fox 5 DC.