The shooting of Alton Sterling, a black man, by two white police officers, captured the mood of deeply segregated Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
The city of more than 230,000 is split on racial lines. It is majority black, but that group has scant access to quality jobs, education and healthcare. Baton Rouge incarcerates blacks at twice the rate of whites, according to a May 2012 report in the Times-Picayune.
The police department is overwhelmingly white, and black residents had complained of abuse by police long before officers Blane Salamoni and Howie Lake II fatally shot Sterling on Tuesday.
Police say Sterling was armed as he wrestled with the officers outside a convenience store where he sold CDs. The Justice Department is investigating the killing, and the officers have been suspended.