WASHINGTON -- Two MPD officers were placed on leave after an unarmed motorcyclist was shot dead by DC police, now controversy swirls over the chain of events.
A number of stories surfaced after 31-year-old Terrence Sterling was killed. From witness accounts of what they say happened to the story police gave media. Thursday, family and friends of Sterling spoke with DCW50 about who Sterling was and the contradicting stories about how and why he was shot by an officer.
Police said Sterling was riding his motorcycle erratically, then rammed his bike into an officer’s car door, and that is when an officer fired his gun. However, several witnesses have stepped forward with their stories that say otherwise.
Mayor Muriel Bowser said the officers involved were wearing body cameras, but they were not turned on until after the shooting.
At a press conference Thursday, Mayor Bowser explained, “This was clearly not the intent of MPD policy of our body worn camera program as a result we have immediately implemented procedures to ensure that body worn cameras are being activated properly and as intended by the body worn camera policy.”
Anthony Dixon, knew Sterling since he was a child, and most recently served as his employer for over a decade. Dixon told DCW50, he believes information may be being withheld.
“Even if they say the officer turned on the body camera after the shooting, where is that video? I think the officer had it on all the time, but the department does not want to release it,” expressed Dixon.
Sterling’s mentor and employer went on to explain the Sterling he knew. “He has great parents, his dad is a gentleman, he taught Terrence how to be a man, Terrence had that same character, gentle, selfless, always willing to take care of other people,” Dixon said.
For the last 10 years, the motorcyclist worked on HVAC systems in a Silver Spring senior citizen community.
Through tears, Elaine Petrulakis, a resident of the community, described the day Sterling came to her rescue after she fell and cracked her head in August.
“He saved my life and I only wish I could have save his life,” she said.
Days after the shooting, those who knew and worked with Sterling said they still cannot believe he is gone.