The mother of Alton Sterling’s son told the world in an emotional press conference, “I have now been forced to raise a son who is going to remember what happened to his father.” Quinyetta McMillon delivered the address to a crowd of reporters outside of city hall on July 6, a day after Alton Sterling was shot dead by cops in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
You can watch the press conference above as Sterling’s son, Cameron, 15, tries to console his mother as she speaks. Eventually, the impact becomes too much and the teenager succumbs to tears as well.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. She Has Expressed Her ‘Deepest Gratitude to the Citizens of Baton Rouge & the Nation’ for the Condolences Her Family Have Received
In a statement on her Facebook page just after the emotional press conference, McMillon said:
As we take time and reflect on what has transpired. I would like the media and all other conduits to allow my family time to process what is going on in this desperate time. I’m trying to get several things in order especially with a full heart in the thoughts of my son.
I want to thank all of the individuals who truly have the best interest of my son at heart. Please continue share and push out any information that comes in over the course of this time.
Again, I express my deepest gratitude to the citizens of Baton Rouge and all over the nation.
Soon after posting those remarks, McMillon linked to a story from the Advocate in Baton Rouge. She wrote the words, “Omg lord knows he didn’t deserve this at all.” She had told the gathered crowd outside of Baton Rouge’s city hall that her son “is at an age of understanding. I hurt for him and his loss as a parent. One of the greatest fears is to see your child hurt and know there’s nothing you can do.”
2. She Owns a House Keeping Business in Baton Rouge
According to her Facebook page, McMillon founded the Queen of Cleaning Services, in February 2016. The business is based along Mead Road in Baton Rouge. Though other records give her name as Quinyetta Fobb.
3. Sterling Was a Father to 5 Children
According to Sterling’s sister, Mignon Chambers, he was a father to five children, reports WAFB-TV. Chambers also told the station, “I really wanna know more about what happened, about the whole situation, because my brother didn’t deserve it. He didn’t deserve it at all.” Cameron Sterling is the oldest of Alton Sterling’s children.
Online records show that Sterling was a registered sex offender and that in 2000 he impregnated a 14-year-old girl. Her mother reported him to police. As a result, Sterling spent four years in prison. Despite that arrest, Sterling’s friend, Darian Gardner, told the Advocate in Baton Rouge that the deceased man “didn’t cause any harm to the community. He was nice. He wasn’t a bad guy. He was respectable.”
Despite their relationship, Sterling and McMillon were not friends on Facebook.
4. A Go Fund Me Page Has Been Started to Send Alton ‘Home in Style’
A Go Fund Me page has been set up to help Sterling’s family pay for his funeral. It was started by Sandra Sterling. At the time of writing, it’s less than $600 short of its $3,500 goal. The page reads, “Let’s send Alton Sterling home in style.”
While a separate fundraising page has also been set up to help start a scholarship fund in Sterling’s name. That page has raised nearly $100,000, it’s original target was $40,000. The link was tweeted by comedian John Mulaney.
That fundraising effort had been started by the creator of YouTube series, Awkward Black Girl, Issa Rae. She wrote on Twitter after the page hit its goal, “Yay! Thank you everybody, keep going while I get in touch w/Quinyetta McMillon. Any extra help appreciated!.”
5. Sterling’s Shooting Is Being Compared to the Death of 6-Year-Old Jeremy Mardis
In an interview with the Washington Post, Sterling’s aunt, Sandra, compared his death to that of 6-year-old Louisiana boy Jeremy Mardis. Sandra Sterling told the newspaper, “They went to jail and it was all over the world. I want my son to be the same way because he was important, too.”
The 6-year-old was fatally shot by police officers who fired into his father’s car in November 2015. A few days later, two of four police officers involved in the shooting were charged with second-degree murder in his death.
Mardis had been shot multiple times. His father, 25-year-old Chris Few, was also wounded.
The Louisiana State Police, which is investigating the shooting, said city marshals from Avoyelles Parish Ward 2 fired their weapons at the vehicle at the end of a pursuit in the town of Marksville.
State police arrested Marksville Police Lt. Derrick Stafford and reserve officer Norris Greenhouse Jr. Friday night. They were also charged with attempted second-degree murder. Two other officers, Lt. Jason Brouillette and Sgt. Kenneth Parnell, were not charged in relation to the shooting.