Alton Sterling: When a Sex Offender Gets a Candlelight Vigil

It takes the shock of an unjust death to remind us that sex offenders can be people who are good men.

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Alton Sterling
Monica Jorge/Sipa USA/Newscom

Only in death, it seems, can a person on the sex offender registry be considered a human worthy of love and sympathy.

Alton Sterling, the 37-year-old Baton Rouge man who was peddling CDs when he was shot by two police officers on Tuesday, was described by his friends quoted in this Reuters report as "a fun-loving guy" who was also a hardworking dad "who scraped together a living selling music recorded on compact discs."

"He was a very nice guy, always smiling and laughing," said Abdullah Muflahi, the owner of the store Sterling worked in front of.

"I'd never seen him get out of hand with anyone," said a woman who had just bought a CD from Sterling. 

A woman at a vigil for Sterling called him a "good man," who "never bothered anyone."

Eleven paragraphs into what is truly an affecting portrait of a well-loved man gunned down in his prime, we learn that:

According to the Louisiana Department of Corrections, Sterling was convicted in 2000 for a crime against a minor that led him to spend about four years in prison and be registered as a sex offender.

A court document reviewed by Reuters showed that he was accused of having sex with a 14-year-old girl and impregnating her when he was 20.

What's amazing to me is that usually when we hear of sex offenders who had sex with someone underage, we see them as a incorrigible monsters. They can't live near a park. They can't hand out Halloween candy. They are sometimes not even allowed to walk their own children to school. Their humanity is completely obliterated, even if they have served their time and are now loving dads getting up and going to work. We attempt to welcome back most citizens returning home from prison. But sex offenders we treat as permanently toxic.

Just today I read about a mom so incensed that her daughter's school bus lets her off in front of a sex offender's home that she is transferring her daughter out of the school. This, even though of the nearly one million people on the sex offender registry, the vast majority will never commit a sex offense again. 

The U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics found that sex offenders have the lowest recidivism rate of any criminals other than murderers.

It seems to take the shock of an unjust death to remind us that sex offenders can be people who are good men, kind neighbors, guys who make us laugh.

People worthy of a second chance.

It would be nice if we remembered that all the time.

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  1. But if he’d pissed in the shrubbery….

    1. True story: My friend’s son pissed in the shrubbery outside of a nightclub and after a female security guard saw his penis, he was added to the sex offender registry.

      1. So you’re saying that if he were Asian this wouldn’t have happened? That it’s descrimination?

        1. +1 small penis

        2. Ouch.

  2. In this case the media got it right by accident – in the Battle of the Narratives, the Victim of White Oppression narrative won out.

    As it happens, they probably ended up in the neighborhood of the truth, since this doesn’t really seem like a good shoot, to put it mildly.

  3. Well, maybe we’ve finally reached the point that the criteria for entry into the registry has been watered down to the point of making the whole thing seem pointless.

    1. Exactly. If you take a dump in public, it’s okay because your bum is clearly not genitalia.

        1. What? What? In the butt?

          1. Wanna do it in my butt? Let’s do it in the butt!

            Okay.

    2. We reached that point about 30 minutes after the registry went public.

  4. Law and Order SVU has a sad.

  5. Jerry Lee Lewis actually married his 13 year old cousin. I don’t see this guy committing a heinous crime because he had sex with a 14 year old. And with a record like that, no wonder he had to sell CDs for a living. So stupid.

    1. For 99% of human history girls were married off as soon has they got their period.

      1. Exactly this. My grandmother was 13 when she got married and my grandfather was 19. And no one cared. And now all of the sudden, we’ve entered the new ‘enlightenment’. Let the witch hunts commence.

        1. I don’t agree with the witch hunts, and I don’t think that being attracted to girls 13-17 makes you a monster, nor do I think that a dalliance with an underage girl — post puberty — should land you on the sex offender registry.

          But I do agree that in a society where the average person no longer dies at age 35, and our general expectations of adulthood don’t really kick in until the mid-20s, the age of consent is just fine at 18. Yes, it’s a modern societal construct which is divorced from biological reality, but self discipline against fucking teenage girls is probably a healthy instinct in general.

    2. The guy’s record included battery, domestic violence and possession of an illegal firearm. His rap sheet was 46 pages long.

      It was not just statutory rape.

      1. possession of an illegal firearm

        I call bullshit on that one. This should not exist.

        1. He was convicted of violating the 2nd Amendment.

      2. Not to shit on your post, but raps aren’t just a list of crimes committed. Each charge could carry over to the next page, due to all the entries.

        That said, 46 pages is pretty extraordinary, and doesn’t bode well for his overall character.

        1. Oh yeah, I totally understand. And the whole thing could be double-spaced, etc.

          Still.

          1. Yeah. He could just be a cop-shit magnet, and catch every little infraction they can throw his way, but it’s also likely he did some “stuff”.

            But, people liked him. And I doubt his shooting was related to any of his criminal history. At least, outside of the officers’ minds.

            1. I know that area, and if you get on their list, the cops will take every opportunity to harass you.

              It appeared the guy spent almost three years in jail waiting for impregnating the 14 yo, then they offered him a deal with conviction, sex offender registry and 5 years in prison, but if he accepted deal they would let him out on time served. When he was caught selling pot, he had a gun, so he was offered a five year sentence to run concurrently with and other sentences he was currently serving.

              Louisianna likes to pile on charges, let you sit in some sheriff’s private jail for a couple years and then offer deal with little or no time to serve, but you get one more black mark on your record.
              After a while, Black Marks Matter.

              I heard In-laws say his bootlegging CD’s was enough to send him back to jail, and the illegal weapon was just cause to shoot him twice for resisting, then back up and shoot him 3 more times.

              I suspect the Dallas cop that was shot a burst in the back after being down paid the price for the second round of shots to the CD man.

              LIves Matter

    3. Did Jerry Lewis threaten a man with a gun resulting in police being called like Sterling did? Guess that’s why Sterling was shot by police and Lewis wasn’t. You’d be surprised at how not doing things like wandering about threatening people with guns drastically reduces conflict with police.

  6. Oh, so his friends liked him! Well then, let’s ignore his lengthy rap sheet, which also includes violent offenses. Let’s ignore that he was fighting with police while in possession of an illegal gun.

    The other recent case of the guy shot while in the car seems like something to get upset about. This guy just seems like another violent dimwit and Darwin Award winner, like Trayvon and Michael Brown. Pro tip: whether it’s “fair” or “justice” or not, getting into physical fights with armed people, especially police, greatly increases your risk of getting shot.

    1. Trayvon Martin retaliated after he was stalked by a small-dicked non-cop so that one’s a bit different than public servants using lethal force on unarmed people.

      1. Trayvon was a burglar, who was “stalked” by a neighborhood watch guy because he was casing apartments.

        1. They have evidence that he was coming home from a visit to a store to buy candy.

          I get it though, prior rap sheets are reason enough to off blacks.

          1. Don’t even need rap sheets…

          2. Not exactly: prior behavior as a burglar (stolen jewelry) lends credence to Zimmerman’s story that the reason he was following Trayvon was that Trayvon wasn’t just “going home” but looking in windows.

            The reason Trayvon died was because he started a fight (which we now know Trayvon enjoyed doing) and Zimmerman defended himself.

            I guess you didn’t read much about the case after the initial reports.

        2. Git yer answurs right here! Coming right up!
          The OTHER part of the truth (Martin threw away the sword and the pistol by his side, before he died, and the cops never found it, bumbling fools that they were), but here is the REAL truth:
          Martin went a fartin’,
          And he did ride,
          With a sword and a pistol
          By his side,
          Lookin’ for a “creepy ass cracker”
          To help him eat his skittles,
          So when he couldn’t find his spittoon,
          He spit instead in his shittooon,
          And shit instead in his spittoon,
          While the cow jumped over the moon,
          And the dish snorted coke with a spoon,
          And we’ll all know the truth real soon!

      2. There’s absolutely nothing to substantiate that except your feelz, of course, but just FYI, it’s still illegal to “retaliate” against a “stalker” on public property by bashing their skull into the pavement. HTH

        1. That’s why Zimmerman gets a bit of a pass for being untrained on deescalation. Cops don’t have that luxury, they know better.

          1. “Untrained on deescalation”? So if someone jumps you and starts pounding your head into the pavement, you’re supposed to “deescalate”…?

    2. “illegal gun” shouldn’t be a thing.

      1. Even for violent felons…?

        1. I’ll let Juice give his own answer, but I take it to mean that, as far as the language is important, “illegal gun” isn’t really correct–“illegally-owned gun” is more precise (and even it has baggage).

          1. Oh, and I agree with what he said.

        2. Violent felons cannot own a fireram, Papaya, since they’re in jail. When they get out, they’ve served their sentence, they are ex-felons, and should no longer be stripped of constitutional rights. Slippery fucking slope, a lot of people are going to change their minds, when they get down to traffic tickets and unpaid taxes, etc, to remove rights. And it’s coming.

        3. If they’re still violent, then why are they walking free at all?

      2. ^this^

        Thank you.

    3. Have you watched the video? He was fighting the cops because one of them tackled him to the ground.

    4. Let’s ignore that he was fighting with police while in possession of an illegal gun.

      He was subdued when he was shot. Mere possession of an illegal firearm is not grounds for automatic execution. Had he been brandishing the weapon or posed a danger to the officers at the time then it might be relevant.

      1. Yep.

      2. It appeared to me, Ill let you guys come to your own conclusions, that the officer who did NOT pull his weapon was struggling with Sterling to keep him from pulling the pistol out of his right side pants pocket. That was when you hear the statement,”He has a gun” The shooting officer then pulls his weapon puts it to Sterling’s chest and fires. If Sterling was indeed trying to pull the weapon out of his pants pocket, I would judge the officer’s had cause to defend themselves.

    5. He’s not eligible for a Darwin award. He reproduced

  7. So sex offenders should be given a second chance by allowing one’s child to be delivered to the front of their house every day? I’m just saying it sounds kinda odd.

    1. It depends. We need to separate people who get caught pissing in public and 19 year-olds who get blowjobs from 17 year-olds from actual pedophiles.

    2. Sex offenders now include teens sexting. And that’s a lifetime sentence.

      1. This kind of argument sidesteps the ethics of dealing with “legitimate” sex offenders who have served their time, however.

        1. I’m not side stepping anything. If you read many of my comments around here, you would see I’m in favor of time served is time served. Life time ‘punishments’ are stupid. If you’re too fucking dangerous to be in public, you should still be in prison.

          1. I was referring to the “kind of argument” posted there, not the sum total of who you are and what you believe.

  8. Both the “Sex Offender Registry” (there are several) and the “He Was A Choirboy” narrative always heard when a sufficiently brown person has been killed by police have equal value when determining the truth of the matter; zero.

    I despise the “Black Lives Matter” organizers.

    I detest the floggers of the “There’s a War on Cops” narrative

    I wish the politicians who dreamed up the sex offender registry, the judges who let it stand, and the bureaucratic stooges who expanded it into complete idiocy were all in Hell, where they obviously belong.

    What I WOULD like to see is;

    Cops treated the same as anyone else who has shot somebody; no better but no worse.

    Police Unions disbanded.

    The legal presumption that if there should be body camera or dashboard camera video, and there isn’t, then the police narrative of an incident is suspect until backed up by physical evidence.

    And just for sh*ts and giggles; Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson jailed for extortion, fraud, and anything else that comes to mind.

    1. Both the “Sex Offender Registry” (there are several) and the “He Was A Choirboy” narrative always heard when a sufficiently brown person has been killed by police have equal value when determining the truth of the matter; zero.

      I have to agree with this. I’ve seen too many cases that had nothing to do with police killings, where some sociopathic kid shoots someone in the face and steals their phone, or beats them to death on a dare, and the family repeatedly refers to the perpetrators as ‘good, but misunderstood boys’.

    2. Wow, don’t forget to ask for the free unicorn, too.

      1. Free unicorn isn’t real, but still easier to get.

      2. Got no use for a unicorn. How about a duesenberg SJ? And Teddy Roosevelt back for eight years, while we’re wishing.

    3. “He was a Choirboy” is 1st 1/2 20th Century melodrama speak.

      It’s been “just started turning his life around” going on the past 25 years at least.

      1. He was a sk8er boy

      2. that used to be a news game my friends and I would play. We’d look for the tragic story, and then count how many paragraphs in the family would be quoted as saying “and he just started turning his life around!”

        1. In Atlanta, turning your life around is often a precursor to being shot down outside a fried chicken restaurant.

      3. Don’t forget the ever-popular “aspiring rapper.”

        1. Hey now, I’m an aspiring Hip Hop producer.

          1. Then I recommend you not do anything stupid and violent, because aspiring to that sort of musical career seems to be a marker of early death.

    4. And perjury charges for lying on a police report.

  9. Green party’s Jill Stein invites Bernie Sanders to take over ticket

    1. That’d be a great way to sink The UnHillable

    2. If I had it, I’d give Bernie a billion dollars to do it.

      1. Don’t worry. If he gets elected you’re going to be doing it anyway.

        1. Nope, he’ll never get any real economic stupid through congress. I’m a lot more worried about the things that Hillary WILL get through congress.

          1. Congress isn’t what it used to be…

  10. NPR ran a great segment tonight (not up yet, as far as I can tell) on Corey Hughes, the organizer of the Dallas protest where the sniper shot the police. Hughes was very on-message: obligatory sympathy for victims and families, reiterating that the reason for the protest was killings of black suspects by police and unequivocal support for 2A. Hughes’ brother was the open-carry guy who turned his weapon over to the police and nothing else happened.

    ~~~~~~~~

    The FOP just labelled the Dallas shootings as a hate crime. [barfs]

    (xpost from pm links)

    1. Insofar as “Hate Crime” has any meaning, they are doubtless correct.

      So what.

      1. The only meaning I can think of is the legal one, which it was not.

        1. Disclaimer: Semantics, and hate crime legislation is dumb. But the shooter did allegedly say he wanted to kill white people. Obviously a protected class under the law. Now, why it matters is beyond me. Does the FOP want his already dead body blown up again as an enhancement for the hate part of the crime?

  11. Somehow I feel like a lot of the people praising this dude and attending his vigil are some of the biggest fans of sex offender lists and think all sex offenders should be in jail forever. At least that’s what I normally hear from SJWs.

    1. I also doubt if Lenore Skenazy would have wanted this guy living next door.

      1. I know. Who the hell buys CDs off the street these days?

        1. Sometime when I walk to lunch in East Baltimore, while visiting one of my clients, I walk by a guy who has several tables of them. As far as I know, he’s been there for years and no one has ever bothered him.

          1. Especially not to buy a CD.

            1. No, I’ve seen him selling a few. Not everyone has high speed internet and Amazon Prime or $30 for a newly released movie. I know that’s barbaric, but it’s true.

        2. Who the hell buys CDs off the street these days?

          FTFY

        3. Were these CDs of his own music, or was he selling pirated content on bootlegs?

          Sex offender, pirate, scumbag = candlelight vigil?

          This is just race baiters looking for a token to justify and focus their hate against whoever. The standards have gotten pretty low for martyrdom on team derp.

      2. And what has that got to do with the fundamental idiocy of the Sex Offender registry? Look, if a crime that gets you on the registry is sufficient to tag you as a monster for life, why aren’t you still in prison?

        1. I’d say his death has very little to do with the sex offender registry. The author has highlighted that aspect of his life as if it were the pivotal fact. She then contrasts it with the likely-bullshit backstory of an otherwise all-round unobjectionable fellow. But it’s clear from his rap sheet that he was a long-time, low-level career criminal. It seems he had a five-pointed star tattoo associated with the Bloods. Remove the sex offender aspect, and his life and fate would have likely been little different.

          This is just libertarian confirmation bias, the equivalent of progs glomming onto race at any opportunity. “Look, a victim of a sex offender registry! That must be what caused all this!”

          1. His death had to do with the fact that, in typical fashion for him, being the violent thug he was, he had just reportedly threatened a man with a gun. Said man didn’t appreciate being threatened with a gun and called the police. The police didn’t appreciate the fact that Sterling was trying to reach said gun while resisting them and shot him in 100% justifiable self defense. Most people don’t have these sort of issues with police because they don’t wander about threatening people with guns and doing other anti-social and criminal things. It would be pretty amusing to watch the bleeding hearts defending Sterling try to actually deal with a 300+ lb thug armed with a handgun. My prediction is that they would get owned in every sense of the word.

  12. Good article but the headline sounds like something from Breitbart.

  13. “The U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics found that sex offenders have the lowest recidivism rate of any criminals other than murderers.”

    So, you’re saying that the additional restrictions we put on sex offenders are working to keep them out of trouble, and it would effective to expand them to other criminals?

    1. Yes, but we have to strip their rights for life and make sure they can never live a normal life, just in case.

      So, you’re saying that the additional restrictions we put on sex offenders are working to keep them out of trouble, and it would effective to expand them to other criminals?

      Unimportant. It makes holier than thou types and soccer moms feel special and safe.

    2. So, you’re saying that the additional restrictions we put on sex offenders are working to keep them out of trouble, and it would effective to expand them to other criminals?

      Wouldn’t you need a time series to even begin to answer that question?

  14. Look, if you’re a good person, you don’t get on a list. You must have done something wrong.

    /derp

    1. /derp squared.

    2. Off-topic, I imagine the event in Nice, with assault vehicles civilians should not have, has boosted BREXIT lotion sales

  15. We attempt to welcome back most citizens returning home from prison

    Citation fucking needed. Being a sex offender apologist doesn’t require you to distort reality. Go ask anyone convicted of a minor drug felony how welcoming society is to those returning from prison.

    sex offenders have the lowest recidivism rate of any criminals other than murderers.

    Unless you actually count the rate of recidivism specifically for sex crimes instead of overall recidivism, in which case they are four times more likely to re-offend than non-sex offenders. Although it is true that a majority do not re-offend.

    1. Unless you actually count the rate of recidivism specifically for sex crimes instead of overall recidivism, in which case they are four times more likely to re-offend than non-sex offenders.

      Technically, they’re 4 times more likely (albeit still not very likely, at 5.3%) to get re-arrested for a sex offense. This may connect with what ant1sthenes said above, in a way; once you’re arrested for one sex offense, they’re going to be watching you more closely for future sex offenses. That might account for some of the “4 times more likely” difference.

      I’d also like to point out that your link begs a lot of questions (not that Lenore’s claim didn’t). And it contains this gem: “there is universal agreement in the scientific community that the observed recidivism rates of sex offenders are underestimates of actual reoffending”. I’m not sure what the opinion of a bunch of chemists and physicists has on the matter…

  16. It’s possible for someone on the sex offender list (registry?) to reform and live normal lives.

    Even career criminals deserve sympathy if they were killed in a senseless manner.

    1. No it isn’t, once a criminal, always a criminal.

      /law and order tard

  17. I met my husband when I was 16 and he was 22. We have been happily married for 25 years and have 2 grown children. While I don’t advocate for adults having sex with minors, not every case is the same. The label “sex offender” can be damaging depending on the circumstance.

    1. Adult molester! You’re on the list!

      1. Check out people busted with a handful of hemp seeds in the sixties–these are felons whose 2nd Amendment “privileges” are null, void, infringed, cancelled, moot, nonexistent, deleted and chimerical.

    2. I spent 4 years in service during vietnam war, so I was almost 23 when I got into college, I met a girl from class and we hit it off immediately. A couple months later during my birthday dinner, she got laughing, and confessed that she had skipped a couple grades, and for the next 9 days would be 7 years older than her.

      When I asked what was so funny, she said her dad was a Judge, and he regularly threw the book at guys that got involved with girls 6 years younger than themselves. She suggested that I not mention my time in the service when we went home for Christmas.

  18. For once, I agree with the author. Get caught peeing in an alley in public? Sex Offender. It is over used.

  19. As we both know, his conviction for sex with an underage girl, sex offender status, and the fact that he was a felon prohibited from carrying the gun he had in his pocket didn’t fit the meme being pushed by the mainstream media that the police are racist a-holes, and everyone they shoot is an innocent victim who didn’t resist.

    1. He can still be an asshole, and not deserve to get shot because he told some wino to beat it and quit asking for money.

      I thought the flying tackle between cars was incredibly stupid. If the guy had a razor, he could have gutted the cop before anyone knew what happened. I thought the idea was to keep the cops safe.

  20. Yes, it seems he had a five-pointed star tattoo associated with the Bloods. Remove the sex offender aspect, and his life and fate would have likely been little different.

  21. This is the guy she is going to use to make her point. A career criminal? He was a “fun living guy,” alright. Never actually redeemed himself, did he Lenore?

  22. uptil I saw the paycheck four $4289 , I have faith that my mom in-law could actualie bringing in money part-time at there computar. . there sisters neighbour had bean doing this 4 only about thirteen months and by now paid for the mortgage on there condo and bought a brand new Alfa Romeo .????????? http://www.factoryofincome.com

  23. It’s important for the corporate corrupt media to taint and smear the victims of violent extremist police. The media and the police work hand in hand to demonise the black victims of police murder. Its called “ethnic Cleansing” by law enforcement with help from the rigged media Oligarchs.

  24. The media is careful to release negative information about the victims of police murder but NEVER release the histories of the racist brutal police.

  25. It takes the shock of an unjust death…

    So we can put you down in the, “I don’t need to wait for the facts are out before reaching my conclusions, thank you very much” column?

  26. So it was the Senior Antisex League vaporizing an unperson? Makes sense, to the extent that mysticism makes sense.

  27. Totally ridiculous article. Alton Sterling was a convicted sex offender/pedophile who had intercourse with and impregnated a 14 year old girl. He also had numerous convictions for violent offenses. More relevant to his death though was the fact that shortly before police arrived he had reportedly just threatened a man with a gun, which is why police were called in the first place. Police also reportedly found a gun and the shooting is going to be ruled 100% justified since police have a right to shoot violent thugs who threaten people with guns to prevent themselves from being shot. Sterling was a career criminal. If this is what BLM and many blacks at large defend, it’s no wonder so many black neighborhoods have such high crime rates and are such unpleasant places to live. When you defend career criminal thugs you find yourself overrun by career criminal thugs. The fact is that if Alton Sterling were white, most whites would just shrug, figure it was one less violent white thug to worry about going around threatening people with a gun, and thank the police for doing a good job. Whites are under no illusion that there is some sort of shortage of white criminals and that each and every white criminal should be treated as some sort of precious resource. Blacks should learn the same lesson and stop defending every worthless thug, who’s own actions get them shot by police, just because said thug happens to be black.

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