As outrage over the death of Alton Sterling grew Wednesday, distraught netizens wanted to know the name of the Baton Rouge officer responsible for Sterling's death. One phony story identified the officer as Robert Kinnison, a white supporter of presumptive Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.
A photo of Kinnison holding a gun went viral on Twitter. His background on his profile was donned with a Trump sticker. One post, penned by @GoddessKerriLyn, was liked dozens of times and shared more than 200 times. “The cop who murdered #AltonSterling is a Trump supporter,” she wrote. “Trump's racist incendiary rhetoric has fatal consequences.”
Kinnison is apparently a Trump supporter. The politician has called for banning Muslims from entering the U.S. and has made disparaging remarks about women. Kinnison's profession was not known Wednesday and police did not link him in any way to Sterling's death.
— Brandon Wall (@Walldo) July 6, 2016
The identity of the Louisiana officer who shot and killed Sterling, 37, has not been revealed. A chilling cell phone video hit the Internet Tuesday, showing Sterling being fatally shot after an anonymous 911 caller said he had a gun. Sterling was selling music outside a convenience store when he was handcuffed and thrown to the pavement.
In Louisiana, it is legal to have a gun as long as the person is over 18 and is not a convicted felon. In Sterling’s case, he had a rap sheet that extended over two decades. He was sentenced to prison for five years on weapon and marijuana possession in 2009, the Advocate wrote.
Congressman Cedric Richmond (LA-D) called the shooting a“tragedy,” saying there were a "number of unanswered questions."
"The video footage released today of the shooting of Alton Sterling ... was deeply troubling and has understandably evoked strong emotion and anger in our community," Richmond said in a statement. "I share in this anger and join the community in the pursuit of justice.”
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