‘How dare you stand next to me in the same uniform and murder somebody?’
A black police officer from Ohio has delivered a powerful personal response to the shooting of Alton Sterling in Louisiana.
Nakia Jones, who became a police officer in 1996, said she had watched the graphic mobile phone video of 37-year-old Mr Sterling’s shooting “over and over”.
“I’m here because I wanted to make a difference. But how dare you stand next to me in the same uniform and murder somebody? How dare you?” she said in a live video uploaded to Facebook on Wednesday.
“There’s many of us who would give our life for anybody, and we took this oath and we meant it. If you are an officer who is prejudiced, take the uniform off and put the KKK hoodie on.”
Ms Jones, who lives in Cleveland, said: “I’m so hurt, it bothers me when people say: ‘police officers this’ or ‘police officers that’. They put us in this negative category, but I’m saying to myself, ‘I’m not that kind of police officer’,”
“I grew up in the hood, not in the suburbs […] I became a police officer to make a difference in people’s lives,” she said.
“If you are white, and you work [as a police officer] in a black community, and you are racist, you need to be ashamed of yourself.”
Ms Jones said her son had shown her the “disturbing video about a young man that was shot and killed by police in Louisiana.”
Mr Sterling was fatally shot in Baton Rouge, the second largest city in Louisiana, in a scuffle with two white police officers while he was selling homemade CDs outside a convenience stores on Tuesday morning.
Shocking videos of the shooting have been widely shared online and have set off angry protests in the city’s black community.
One law enforcement official said a gun was taken from Mr Sterling after he was killed, but it was not clear from the mobile phone footage whether Mr Sterling had the gun in his hand or was reaching for it when he was shot.
The US Justice Department has opened a civil rights investigation into his death.
“If you’re that officer, then know good and well you got a God complex, you are afraid of people who don’t look like you, you have no business in that uniform. Take it off,” she said.
“If you’re afraid to talk to an African American female or a Mexican male or female because they’re not white like you, take the uniform off. You have no business being a police officer.”
A video of the aftermath of a second incident in Baton Rouge has also emerged, in which a black man was shot dead by police during a traffic stop.
The video appears to show a woman sitting in the passenger seat of a car next to a man who had apparently been shot by a police officer standing outside the vehicle.
The woman in the video, which was posted on Wednesday night, says her boyfriend let the officer know that he had a firearm which he was licensed to carry and he was reaching into his pocket to retrieve his wallet.
She said the officer then shot her boyfriend four times.
The man, named by relatives as Philando Castile, died minutes after arriving at hospital following the incident in the Falcon Heights suburb of the state capital, St Paul.