Speakers at Alton Sterling's funeral are calling for justice in the shooting death of the 37-year-old black man at the hands of two white police officers.
Robert Muhammed, from the Nation of Islam, gave a rousing speech to the crowd of a couple thousand people assembled Friday at Southern University in Baton Rouge.
He said there was no substitute for justice.
Another speaker, Chauna Banks from the Baton Rouge Metro Council, told the crowd that Sterling's blood cries out for justice.
Activists Jesse Jackson and the Rev. Al Sharpton were also attending the service and were expected to speak.
Alton Sterling was shot and killed July 5 in front of a convenience store after an altercation with police. His death and the two cellphone videos documenting it have sparked widespread protests.EARLIER REPORT:
Two of President Barack Obama's two senior advisers are attending the funeral of the black Louisiana man who was killed by police last week.
The White House says Roy Austin, deputy assistant to the president for urban affairs, attended the funeral for 37-year-old Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge.
Sterling was fatally shot by two white officers who pinned him to the ground outside a convenience store.
Stephanie Young, another Obama adviser, also attended Sterling's funeral.
Young and Cabinet secretary Broderick Johnson represented Obama at the funeral Thursday for Philando Castile. The 32-year-old was shot by police in suburban St. Paul, Minnesota, during a traffic stop.
Johnson chairs the My Brother's Keeper task force. Obama created the program to help minority males stay on the right path.EARLIER REPORT:
The funeral for a 37-year-old black man who was killed by police has started in Baton Rouge.
The services for Alton Sterling got underway Friday with a gospel choir singing hymns, as many in the crowd of a couple thousand joined in.
Gary Chambers, a spokesman for the Sterling family and master of ceremonies for the funeral, said at the beginning that the event was intended to be a celebration of Sterling's life — not an opportunity for demonstrations about his death. He told people that if they wanted to protest, they should leave.
Sterling was shot to death as two white officers pinned him to the pavement. The killing was recorded on cellphone video and shared across the internet, fueling nationwide protests.
Police said he had a gun.EARLIER REPORT:
A stream of mourners is paying their respects to Alton Sterling, a 37-year-old man who was fatally shot by Baton Rouge police on July 5.
Sterling's death was recorded on cellphone video and shared across the internet. Sterling's death and a fatal police shooting in Minnesota helped fuel recent nationwide protests. Sterling was selling CDs outside a convenience store when two white officers pinned him to the pavement and he was fatally shot. Police said he had a gun.
Sterling's body lay in an open casket Friday inside the basketball arena at Southern University, a historically black college in north Baton Rouge. A funeral was to take place later in the morning.
Claire Carter was among those who came to pay respect. She, like so many others, says she wants aggressive policing to end.
She said the encounter Sterling had with police "went too far" as police tackled him and used a stun gun on him. Officers were responding to an anonymous call that he had threatened someone with a gun.
Carter said she bought a rhythm and blues CD from Sterling about a year ago and took it out and played it again after his death.EARLIER REPORT:
A Baton Rouge man accused of stealing guns from a pawn shop told investigators he was motivated by money, despite claims that an alleged accomplice said they stole firearms to shoot police officers.
Twenty-year-old Malik Bridgewater is scheduled to make his initial appearance in federal court on Friday. Police arrested Bridgewater and two other suspects following a burglary last weekend at a pawn shop where eight handguns were stolen.
A court filing Thursday says Bridgewater told investigators his motivation for the burglary was to sell stolen items.
But state and local law-enforcement authorities said the stolen guns were part of a credible threat to harm police officers.
The arrests came amid heightened tensions in Baton Rouge following a black man's fatal shooting during a struggle with two white police officers.EARLIER REPORT:
Family and friends of a black man shot and killed by two white police officers in Louisiana are gathering to honor him.
Funeral services are being held Friday for 37-year-old Alton Sterling, who died July 5 outside a Baton Rouge convenience store during an altercation with the officers.
Captured on video recordings, Sterling's death sparked outrage among many in the African-American community about the treatment of black people by police. His death prompted protests and heightened tensions in the U.S. along with last week's deadly police shooting of a black man in Minnesota and the killing of five police officers in Dallas.
A public viewing is set to begin at 8 a.m. CDT at Southern University in Baton Rouge followed by a funeral.