WASHINGTON – Dozens of Black Lives Matter activists briefly blocked traffic at a downtown Washington intersection during Monday evening’s rush hour to protest the September police killing of Terrence Sterling, a 31-year-old black man who was shot after his motorcycle crashed into a police officer’s vehicle.
Protesters tied teddy bears to street signs along with pieces of paper saying “#TerrenceSterling” and “We have questions.” Others held orange signs with the inscription “No justice for Terrence Sterling.”
Officer Brian Trainor shot Sterling in the neck early on Sept. 11 after Sterling rammed his motorcycle into Trainer’s vehicle. Trainor said it was intentional, although witnesses dispute his account, saying the crash unavoidable.
Mayor Muriel Bowser’s office released a video of the incident two weeks after the shooting, but it was only six minutes long because Trainor did not turn on his camera until after he shot Sterling.
When police brought out a megaphone to demand the activists vacate the intersection, the crowd yelled back at them repeatedly: “Why was the body camera off?”
From the intersection, the protesters marched down New York Avenue chanting “No justice, no peace” and “black lives, they matter here,” while police guarded the thoroughfare. They then turned and swelled in number as they reached the crowded central intersection outside Gallery Place in Chinatown.
“We want accountability, we want transparency. Until we get it, we will shut it down,” said Steven Douglas, one of the lead organizers and minister of Steven Douglas ministries.
It was the second consecutive week that Black Lives Matter protested Sterling’s shooting.
In both protests, the crowd demanded that Trainor be prosecuted for the shooting. He was placed on administrative leave after the shooting.