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Let the protests begin and rightfully so…if this video shows us what we think we’re seeing, then these cops were WRONG, and should be held accountable. However, we’ll wait for the final ruling, but it doesn’t look like Mr. Sterling did anything wrong to warrant being shot. Simply tragic.’-Jennifer Ross
Graphic video shows two Baton Rouge police officers fatally shoot 37-year-old Alton Sterling, multiple times while he laid on the ground with officers holding his hands. In the video one of the officers claimed that Sterling had a gun, before the shots were fired.
Baton Rouge police officers were called to the Triple S Food Mart, after an unknown caller claimed to have been threatened by a man carrying a gun. When officers arrived to the scene, they immediately started screaming for Sterling, who was standing in front of the store, to get on the ground. The video then shows one officer tackling Sterling, causing him to fall on to a parked car before then throwing him to the ground himself . The other officer immediately jumped on top of Sterlings back and began holding Sterlings hands to his back. The other officer then puts his gun into Sterlings back or neck, there is a mumbling of words, then one of the officers yelled ” He’s got a gun,” then you hear two gun shots. The video cuts away, but in the background you can hear several more shots.
(Photo Courtesy of theadvocate.com)
According to a report, Sterling was shot by the officers seven times, however the police department has not yet confirmed the statement.
The Baton Rouge officers claimed they were forced to shoot Sterling during a struggle, thinking he was attempting to pull the gun on them. Multiple witnesses however, tell a different story.
One witness told reporters that Sterling, who sold CDs outside the Triple S Food Mart, did have gun, but it was only visible when officers pulled it out of his pocket, after they’d shot and killed him.
(Photo Courtesy of theadvocate.com)
The owner of Triple S Food Mart, Abdullah Muflahi, seemed to back that statement, telling the New York Daily News that Sterling bought a gun for protection just a few days ago, after hearing that other CD sellers had been robbed, and that Sterling did not have the gun in his hand during the confrontation with police, nor was his hand in his pocket.
Both officers were equipped with body cameras, but the footage from the body cameras was distorted. The officers claimed both of their body cameras fell off during the struggle.
Sterling’s sister, Mignon Chambers, spoke out in the wake of the shooting saying, something “needs to be done, there’s no reason for you to handle him the way that you did,” she said. “It wasn’t right.”
Several celebrities and activist have spoken out against the shooting on social media, including Martin Luther King jr.’s youngest daughter:
May his name and his brutal last breath shake up and transform systems: #AltonSterling.
— Be A King (@BerniceKing) July 6, 2016
Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. also released a statement in wake of the shooting:
— Rev Jesse Jackson Sr (@RevJJackson) July 6, 2016
Cornell Brooks, the President of the NAACP, said the video is ‘hard to watch, but even harder to ignore.’
Congressman Cedric Richmond also spoke out regarding the shooting saying, there are a lot of ‘unanswered questions’ regarding the case, including the level of force both officers used while trying to subdue the subject.
Both officers were placed on administrative leave as is part of standard procedure when a fire-arm is discharged.
The East Baton Rouge District coroner says Sterling, died from multiple gunshot wounds to the chest and back. Alton Sterling was a father of five.
(Photo courtesy of Twitter.com)