Video has emerged showing Baton Rouge, Louisiana police officers fatally shoot a man at point blank range while he was pinned on the pavement being subdued.
The cops had responded to Triple S Food Mart at the corner of Fairfields Avenue and North Foster Drive shortly after 12:00 a.m. on Tuesday. They had received reports that a man was trying to sell CDs outside of the store and had threatened someone with a gun.
According to the store owner, two cops confronted 37-year-old Alton Sterling at the scene and one of the officers tased him before the other tackled him to the ground. Once there, the store owner said Sterling struggled trying to get the officer off the top of him.
During this time, the officer who had earlier fired his taser, pulled his gun and shot Sterling at point blank rage while he was on the ground in the chest and back.
Video recorded by a bystander from inside a car shows the officers telling Sterling to, “Get on the ground, get on the ground” as the sound of a taser is apparently heard being deployed twice. It has little to no effect on Sterling.
The cop that tackled Sterling is then seen throwing him on the hood of the car and then onto the ground – and the second officer climbs on top of him and helps hold him down on the pavement.
One officer can apparently be heard on the footage saying, “He’s got a gun! Gun!” before pulling out his firearm and holding it the back of Sterling’s head or neck and shouting.
Two gunshots can then be heard ringing out and the camera quickly cuts away. At least two more shots are additionally heard and the voices of the bystanders can be heard saying, “oh my God, they shot him?” and “They killed this boy.” Police have not confirmed if Sterling was actually armed or not.
Watch the raw footage:
According to police, the two officers were placed on administrative leave following the incident. Information pertaining to their identities are supposed to be released on Wednesday.
“It’s an ongoing investigation. We are going to interview the officers and get as much information as we need to do a thorough investigation,” Baton Rouge police Cpl. McKneely said. “We’re going to be clear, precise and sure the community knows what transpired here at this location.”
Louisiana State Rep. Ted James called the shooting a “murder,” and demanded an independent investigation. He also said there should be scrutiny of the police department’s body-camera policy after the cops involved claimed their body-cams had fallen off and didn’t record what occurred.
Congressman Cedric Richmond cited “a number of unanswered questions” around the “tragedy” and called on the U.S. Department of Justice to conduct an investigation.
“The video footage released today of the shooting of Alton Sterling … was deeply troubling and has understandably evoked strong emotion and anger in our community,” Richmond said in a statement. “I share in this anger and join the community in the pursuit of justice.
Update – New Video Released: