Alton Sterling, a 37-year-old Baton Rouge man, was shot and killed by police early Tuesday morning during a confrontation, leading to a protest later that day and calls for a state and federal investigation.
Sterling was shot after he was confronted by police around 12:35 a.m. near Triple S Food Mart. Authorities were called to the scene about a man selling CDs outside the store, according to The Advocate of Baton Rouge
Baton Rouge Police Cpl. L'Jean McKneely told the newspaper that an anonymous caller said that the man selling CDs pointed a weapon at someone, ordering them to leave the property.
A 48-second cellphone video captured by a bystander reportedly shows an officer firing at least one round into Sterling's chest outside what appears to be the Triple S store, followed by the sound of at least four more shots as the camera turned away, according to the Advocate.
East Baton Rouge Parish coroner William "Beau" Clark said that the initial autopsy on Sterling showed that he sustained multiple gunshot wounds to the chest and back.
that two officers arrived at the store and confronted Sterling. The store owner told the television station that the confrontation quickly turned physical. The officers eventually grabbed Sterling and took him to the ground.
"He's got a gun! Gun," one officer said, leading the second officer to draw an object out of his holster.
"You f*****g move, I swear to God," one officer said, before the second officer is seen in the video pointing a weapon down at Sterling's chest.
Authorities told WAFB-TV that both officers had on body cameras, but they fell off during the struggle and failed to capture the shooting. Police told the television station, though, that they are looking at dash cam video and store surveillance video, which they think captured the confrontation.
Protesters showed up at the store Tuesday night, concerned about not only the shooting but other police related shootings of African-American males, noted The Times-Picayune
"When I saw the video – that's messed up. You don't take somebody's life," Alexis Taylor, 21, told the Times-Picayune. "Why you can't taze him? You didn't have to kill him. Nobody's life should've been taken."
WAFB-TV reported that Louisiana State Rep. C. Denise Marcelle called for the Louisiana State Police to take over the investigation. Louisiana U.S. Rep. Cedric Richmond said he wanted the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate.
"I share in this anger and join the community in the pursuit of justice," Richmond said in a statement. "My prayers and thoughts are with Mr. Sterling's family as they deal with this tragedy. There are a number of unanswered questions surrounding Mr. Sterling's death. Including questions about the initial calls for police presence, the level of force used by officers, the verbal and physical altercation, and the response of the officers after he was shot."
Quinyetta McMillon, mother of Sterling's oldest son, told WAFB-TV
on Wednesday that she felt sorry for her children after the shooting.
"Regardless if you knew him or not, he is not what the mass media is making him out to be," McMillon said. "This is a play to try and obscure the image of a man who simply tried to earn a living to take care of his children."
"...the individuals involved in his murder took away a man with children who depended on their daddy on a daily basis. My son is not the youngest, he is the oldest of his siblings. He is 15 years old. He had to watch this as it was put all over the outlets and everything that was possible to be shown."
The New York Daily News reported
that Sterling was a registered sex offender, convicted in 2000 for carnal knowledge of a juvenile. He was released for the offense in October 2004.
He had previously been arrested for aggravated battery, criminal damage to property, unauthorized entry and domestic abuse battery, records show, noted the Daily News. He was also sentenced to five years in prison in 2009 for marijuana possession and carrying an illegal weapon with a controlled dangerous substance.
Family members said that Sterling was serving probation at the time of the shooting and would not have been allowed to have a gun.
The Daily News wrote that the shooting and protests were reminiscent of other police-connected deaths of African-American men that sparked the Black Lives Matter movement.
© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.