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News Violence

Issa Rae Scholarship Fund for Alton Sterling’s Children More Than Doubles $200,000 Goal

Nicole Knight

Actress, writer, and producer Issa Rae's fundraiser for the family of a Black Louisiana man killed by police this week has attracted thousands of donors.

A scholarship fund that actress, writer, and producer Issa Rae started for the five children of Alton Sterling, a 37-year-old Black man killed Tuesday by Baton Rouge police, has raised more than $400,000 within its first day online—doubling its original $200,000 goal. 

Rae, the award-winning creator of the online hit series The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl, started the GoFundMe page Wednesday amid widespread outrage over Baton Rouge police repeatedly shooting Sterling as he was being held on the ground. The U.S. Department of Justice has opened an investigation into the killing, which was captured on at least two cell phone cameras.

At a widely publicized press conference following Sterling’s death, his teenage son sobbed, calling out, “Daddy!”

“If you feel helpless,” Rae wrote on the GoFundMe page, “but want to play a small part in easing the burden of #AltonSterling’s family, consider donating to this scholarship fund for his 15-year-old son (and his other kids).”

Police have killed 136 Black people in 2016, according to the Guardian, which tracks police shootings. Its records indicate that Sterling was the seventh Black person killed by police in Louisiana this year.

Rae later tweeted that supporters had donated $200,000 within the first nine hours of the fundraiser.

Rae said all funds would go to Sterling’s family. By Thursday afternoon, almost 14,500 individuals had contributed to the online fundraiser.

The day after Sterling’s death, Minnesota police shot another Black man, 32-year-old Philando Castile, during a traffic stop, an incident captured on Castile’s girlfriend’s cell phone and that is now under investigation. Reports indicate the officer shot Castile at least four times as he was pulling out his wallet to show his identification.

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