This is absolutely heartbreaking. Alton Sterling, 37, was shot and killed during an altercation with police on July 5, outside a convenient store in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Now, protestors have taken to the streets, chanting, ‘hands up, don’t shoot’ as well as ‘black lives matter.’
Shortly after midnight on July 5, two officers responded to a convenient store after receiving an anonymous call claiming a man in a red shirt was outside selling CDs and had threatened him with a gun, Baton Rouge Police Department spokesman Cpl. L’Jean McKneely told the press. Upon arrival, there was some sort of altercation with the suspect, Alton Sterling, ending in multiple gun shots and the suspect fatally shot. Both officers have now been put on administrative leave.
Cell phone video of an altercation began circulating on social media, allegedly showing Alton’s attack. In the video, you see an officer tell a man to get on the ground, and seconds later the other officer attacks him. One officer can be heard saying, “He’s got a gun! Gun!” — he then pulls out his weapon and fires.
Abdul Muflahi, the convenience store’s owner, spoke to WAFB-TV, saying the first officer used a Taser on Alton, and the second tackled him. Alton fought to get that officer off of him, when the second shot him “four to six times.” Abdul also added that the owner saw officers remove a gun from Anton’s pocket after the shooting — and he did not have it in his hand at the time.
Louisiana Congressman Cedric Richmond called for the Department of Justice to investigate Sterling’s death. “The video footage released today of the shooting of Alton Sterling by officers of the Baton Rouge Police Department was deeply troubling and has understandably evoked strong emotion and anger in our community,” he said in a statement, via USA Today. “I share in this anger and join the community in the pursuit of justice.”
The autopsy shows that he died of multiple gunshots to the chest and back, East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner Dr. William Clark confirmed. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family at this time.