Crime & Justice

Alton Sterling, Philando Castile deaths at hands of police prompt LA protest rally

File: Protesters gather in front of a mural painted on the wall of the convenience store where Alton Sterling was shot and killed, July 6, 2016 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Sterling was shot by a police officer in front of the Triple S Food Mart in Baton Rouge on Tuesday, July 5, leading the Department of Justice to open a civil rights investigation.
File: Protesters gather in front of a mural painted on the wall of the convenience store where Alton Sterling was shot and killed, July 6, 2016 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Sterling was shot by a police officer in front of the Triple S Food Mart in Baton Rouge on Tuesday, July 5, leading the Department of Justice to open a civil rights investigation.
Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images

The controversial death of two black men — Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Philando Castile in Minneapolis, Minnesota — thousands of miles away at the hands of police officers have resonated with some Los Angeles residents.

"They're all combined, like a spoke on a tire," says activist Najee Ali. "So anytime someone is shot and killed in a confrontational, controversial shooting, whether it be Minnesota or Baton Rouge, South L.A. feels and identifies with their pain and anguish."

Ali, the director of Project Islamic Hope, organized a meeting and rally for Thursday afternoon at 4 p.m. in South L.A. at the National Action Network headquarters.

Speakers at the rally include Rev. K.W Tulloss, president of the National Action Network Los Angeles; Pastor William Smart, president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Southern California; and leaders from the NAACP.

"Everyone's outraged. The murder of both men ... has caused outrage with the local community in South L.A. primarily because we have had a problematic relationship with LAPD historically," Ali says.

He linked the deaths of Sterling and Castile to the deaths of two local men who were killed by law enforcement officers:

Ali says he wants to offer people an opportunity to voice their anger and frustration, "not destructively but constructively. And we want to have a plan of action as we move forward to put pressure on DA Jackie Lacey to file criminal charges against the officer who shot and killed Brendon Glenn."