Thousands gathered this morning at the Southern University F.G. Clark Activity Center for Alton Sterling’s funeral service. People came from around the country, some to show support for the family and others calling for justice. Jack Turner with the Revolution Club in Atlanta says he came to the service because there is an epidemic of police shootings.

“We’re here putting out the demand: indict, convict, and send these killer cops to jail. It makes no sense that they’re out free right now while we’re at the funeral of Alton Sterling. It makes no sense at all,” Turner said.

Barry Davison of Baton Rouge says he came to support the family during this difficult time. He is hopeful something positive will come out of this tragedy.

“We need to stop the killing. It has to stop, not just the police officers but black on black crime, crime period. I mean, enough is enough,” Davison said.

A woman who bought CDs from Sterling outside the convenience store where he was shot was also present. She says Sterling was a really nice guy, and she was hurt when she heard the news of what happened. She says something has to change to put an end to the violence.

“In the future when everybody comes together when all this is over with, and I think it’s going to be some big changes,” she said.

Dr. Gary Clark is a professor at Dillard University in New Orleans who grew up in Baton Rouge. Clark says people must come together to bring about changes that prevent incidents like this from occurring. He hopes reform in police departments will become a political platform for national leadership.

“We always think that the last death is the one that’s going to change things, and hopefully this will change, given the fact that this is an election year,” Clark said.