On July 5th, Alton Sterling, a 37 year-old black man, was tased by heavily armed police officers in front of a connivence store in Baton Rogue, Louisiana. The officers then decided to shot Sterling multiple times in the chest, killing him. Sterling was selling CDs. Chris LeDay of Georgia obtained a video of the shooting and decided to post it onto social media, hoping that if it went viral, action would be taken and the officers would face consequences. The video did in fact go viral. Perhaps LeDay did the right thing, bringing renewed visibility to the inescapable reality of the wave of terror unleashed within black and brown communities. Perhaps LeDay was naive, as the majority of police who kill citizens face very little in the way of accountability or punishment, it rather being those that bring attention to such crimes that face an often unforgiving retribution. The morning after posting the video of Sterling being shot and killed LeDay headed into work at Dobbins Air Reserve Base. LeDay said that multiple military officers, some brandishing M-16 rifles, arrested LeDay on suspicion of assault and battery. The charges then transformed into a set of unpaid parking tickets which LeDay did in fact owe. He paid the tickets but was held for an astonishingly long 26 hours. For unpaid parking tickets. LeDay is convinced that he was arrested and detained because of his role in promoting the video of Alton Sterling’s killing on social media.
Yet LeDay, who is a father of three, believes the harassment has yet to have ended. He still has not been allowed to return to work. LeDay, who is employed as a contractor, says that his security clearance has not been approved. Officers have denied that there is a connection with LeDay’s posting of the video, saying that they were unaware of it at the time of his arrest. He has since acquired an attorney. Watch LeDay speak about his situation at a press conference via Fox 5 Atlanta below.
H/T: Atlanta BlackStar