Protesters call for transparency in fatal DC police shooting


About 40 people gathered at a busy intersection near 3rd Street Tunnel in Northwest Washington before dawn Monday in protest over a police shooting earlier this month that killed a man.

Terrence Sterling, 31, of Fort Washington, Md., was shot two weeks ago near M and 3rd streets NW where the group met in a peaceful protest in a park. The group did not disrupt traffic along the busy New York Avenue corridor, but it was unclear if they would move their protest and interrupt the morning commute.

Sterling was shot after police said he crashed his motorcycle into a police cruiser. Police have said the motorcycle was being driven erratically.

At the Monday protest, Steven Douglass — who is one of the lead organizers — yelled through a bull horn. He acknowledge that he was waking up neighbors, but asked that all Americans pay attention to what he called the injustice of police killings.

He lead a small band of protestors who were holding signs that read, “Justice for Terrence Sterling.” And they chanted: “We have questions. We need answers.”

Dozens of passing motorists honked horns and raised fists in support, as they traveled in the area.

In the Sterling incident, the officer who shot Sterling should have turned on his body camera at the start of the pursuit but did not turn it on until after he fired, according to authorities.

The video has not been released. Following the incident, officials changed their policy, requiring officers to now confirm with dispatchers that their body cameras are on when they respond to a call.

The officers involved in the shooting have not been publicly identified. They have been put on administrative leave. No video of the incident has been released.

At the Monday protest, another organizer Thomas Ruffin Jr. said demonstrators had several demands, including release of the names of the officers involved and their immediate dismissal.

Ruffin said they also want the officers “indicted, tried and convicted for first degree murder.” He said they also want the recordings of the body camera to be released.

“We need justice for Terrence Sterling,” said Douglass. “And we’re going to get it. We can’t let this slip under the rug.”

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