A black man was killed following a confrontation with two Louisiana police officers outside a convenience store, authorities said. Protestors claim the victim, Alton Sterling, was murdered in cold blood and they took to the streets in the hundreds to express their outrage.
But new video has emerged that tells a different story.
An autopsy shows Sterling, 37, of Baton Rouge, died Tuesday of multiple gunshot wounds to the chest and back, said East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner Dr. William Clark.
Officers responded to the store about 12:35 a.m. Tuesday after an anonymous caller indicated a man selling music CDs and wearing a red shirt threatened him with a gun, said Cpl. L’Jean McKneely.
Two officers responded and — as the reported video of the incident below seems to show — ordered Sterling to the ground. There’s brief lapse in the filming, captured by an apparent eyewitness, where at least one taser being fired can be heard. The officers then order Sterling to the ground, and when he remains noncompliant he is tackled by one officer. The other helps wrestle him to the ground.
The officer that tackled apparently then finds a concealed gun and yells what sounds like, “He’s got a gun!” and the other assisting officer pulls his service weapon. One of the officers uses harsh language to demand the man stop resisting, and the second officer seems to yell something of the effect of, “He’s grabbing the gun!”
Then there are two shots, followed by approximately three more while the cell phone pans away and the witnesses express disbelief.
Warning — The following video is graphic and contains vulgar language.
A tragic incident — but nothing in the video show any obvious cause for the two police officers to be charged like protesters demand. Sterling was obviously noncompliant and apparently had a gun illegally concealed in his pants. When the officer found it, it becomes unclear as to what happens, as Sterling’s right hand isn’t visible.
Both officers have been placed on administrative leave, which is standard department policy, he said.
The store’s owner, Abdul Muflahi, confirmed to WAFB-TV that that at least one taser was used on Sterling and the second officer tackled the man. Muflahi said as Sterling fought to get the officer off of him, the first officer shot him “four to six times.”
The owner said Sterling did not have a gun in his hand at the time but he saw officers remove a gun from Sterling’s pocket after the shooting.
McKneely said late Tuesday that he could not confirm Muflahi’s description of the alleged event or any other details of the investigation.
The Advocate reported a crowd of people protesting the shooting gathered late Tuesday afternoon at the store where it took place. The group grew to over 200 people, who chanted and waved signs late into the night, according to the newspaper.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.
David Bolgiano says
It’s not a tragic accident or incident, it is Peace Officers doing their duty to protect society from armed thugs. The decedent is the author of his own misfortune here. Sorry the cops have to be subjected to such unjust calumny, but until America gets a grip on its lawless urban areas, this appears to be the new norm.
cynthia maue says
I wanted to give you a thumbs up-but that option icon isn’t available right now.
greg geitner says
bullshit. if you have someone on the ground and they have a gun, it is not necessary in all cases to kill the person. duty i understand unnecessary murder i do not. having a gun and brandishing same are WAY different situations.
The guy had a gun and if you look up his record he has many weapons charges and one big factor he had a gun and the cops told him to put up his hands and he pulled a gun now he’s dead.Sved tax payers millions on court cost.
You could hear the guy shot first and they struggled with him to get it away., so the first shot was from this career criminal. He was order to get on the ground three times and you could see how they had to struggle with him to the ground, next was the first shot from this thug and the Police had no choice but to put this Mad dog down. We all can sleep better now that that is one less Monster on the Streets.
One less worthless scumbag in this world.
You know they will want money. A lot more than he could ever earn. They like the figure of Six – Million dollars and all they have to do is cry and Riot a little to get it.
Written thumbs up from me too…
Frank Simmons, Jr. says
There is never a problem when Police Officers are arresting anyone suspected of committing a crime or that have possibly broken a a law or several laws. Problems do happen when Police are attempting to arrest suspects and they resist arrest, do not comply with commands of the Police Officers. In the most recent cases where black men were shot, they would be alive today if only they would have complied with the commands of the police.
Ed Meyer says
OK, going just from what is seen in this video, I do not see any “resisting” from the supposed “gunman”. What I see is officers who had a man on the ground,(nothing wrong with this picture yet), The man was apparently completely subdued and under control…At this point the officers were literally straddling the victim.. His hands would be immobilized at this point…One of the officers yells “he’s got a gun”…The victim is still apparently in the same position as he was before the discovery, indicating that he has not been fighting back, and therefore unlikely to be grabbing for a hidden weapon which is allegedly inside his pocket. Numerous shots are almost immediately fired..and the victim is dead…… This my friends is a MURDER caught on camera… Whoever wrote this story is a complete moron…. Period…. There is absolutely nothing in this video to support the writers allegations that the victim was “noncompliant” or even fighting back… The writers claim that “… nothing in the video show any obvious cause for the two police officers to be charged…” is simply ludicrous.
just your opinion, you were not there and the vidieo is not that good. Maybe you are the moron!
greg geitner says
maybe you are blowing smoke up your ass. MAYBE
Ed Meyer says
OK Johnny boy, You are obviously among those who are morons. My entire statement was clearly based upon the video..and ONLY the video.. the video supports my claim 100% The VIDEO, which is the entire basis of my comment, (remember this…moron…) does not “show” what the writer of this story claims….in ANY WAY SHAPE OR FORM. Circumstances that occurred BEFORE the video began, are not a consideration in this analysis…considering that the writer is relying SOLELY and COMPLETELY on the video itself as the basis. So….MORON…Maybe you should THINK before you make a total and public idiot of yourself.
The video might not be telling 100%, but the story is whether he was murdered or the police doing their job. Clearly, we don’t have enough information to make that determination, so we all have opinions. It is fact that most of the blacks view cops as pigs and criminals that persecute them. A black man stated it correctly – blacks have an attitude towards the police and immediately challenge the police rather than just do what they are told until the investigation is over. I would never take the chances these cops take with all the politically correct crap. It would be do as you’re told and shut your mouth no matter what color you are. If these criminals are too stupid to show respect to someone with a gun then they are too stupid to …
Maybe pay a little closer attention. The video shows how they had to thrown him against the car hood and next as he was on the ground you could hear the gun go off from the criminal. It is funny how the Criminal will always look like the Victim and yet who is given the task to assure that our Streets are safe ? Not the Criminal.
Uncle Buck Ofama says
WOW! You have obviously been drinking the Kool Aid; the thug had a gun and WAS definitely resisting. When it takes two good sized cops to tackle and subdue an obviously uncooperative and good sized guy, including a Taser or two, that’s pretty aggressive resistance. I know the relatives–anxious to give the Lottery Wheel a good spin–will portray this Alton as an angel whose only sin was singing too loudly in the church choir, but Angelic Alton had a SERIOUS rap sheet. Too bad he’s passed away; if he’d just let himself be arrested, you could have posted his bond, and let him crash at your place.
I’ve been questioned by police officers on several occasions, traffic stops, various neighborhood disturbances, etc. Nobody ever had to tackle me, hit me with a Taser, shoot me. These thugs simply have to learn that the scene of a disturbance is NOT the place to contest the matter. The Police HAVE to get control of a situation. That’s FIRST. Later, we can calmly discuss what happened. When you give cops a hard time, they WILL give you a hard time, in return. You can expect nothing less. OR, you can resist…let’s see how that works out for you.
Frank Simmons, Jr. says
Then you did not see every thing. He was in the act of resisting arrest.
I support the police who perform an incredibly difficult job that I would not do for all the tea in China, but this video does in NO WAY exonerate the officers involved. Too much is not seen.
This man was illegally carrying a gun, if he got searched, finding the gun, he would have immediately gone straight to jail. That makes me think that he was struggling to get away and not risking a weapons violation, which he would have been a Felon with a weapon, and gone straight to jail.
Uncle Buck Ofama says
Yes, Amil, he would have gone to jail as a felon in possession of a gun. But isn’t that better than going to the hospital with injuries, then to jail? Or, to the morgue…? Time and time again, I see these guys make the same mistake: They simply refuse to take responsibility for their own actions. He had to know that he wasn’t supposed to carrying a gun, and that if he was caught packing, he would have to go to jail. That’s a decision he made, a risk he took…and is responsible for. But he refused to take responsibility, and chose to resist and try to escape. He might have made good his escape, and in that case, would be free to resume his useful life. BUT when you resist armed cops, trained to deal with these kinds of situations, there might be other outcomes, and he is responsible for those outcomes, too.
Looked to me that the police officers had him subdued, but the film is too inconclusive to me to say that he was handcuffed and couldn’t reach for his gun.
So many people do so many things based on
incomplete, or inconclusive evidence that it’s actually ridiculous to take action on that basis. They seem to be incapable of using the critical thinking and assessment processes required to avoid the negative outcomes which will surely follow their irrational attitudes and lack of intellect. They are ruled by their emotions, to the exclusion of anything even vaguely resembling common sense.
On the other hand, mean spirited whose only interest is in creating hatred and division among people in order to
start a riot, or other forms of chaos, always stand at the ready to instigate these types of incidents. Simple as that. Brainless idiots, all, in my opinion.
I’m keeping my mind completely open and have no biased, preconceived notions, but I couldn’t see anything in that video to make any determination of what happened. The person shooting the video turned the camera away and seemed to duck down just before things happened. The video showed neither that the officers were at fault, or that they acted in self-defense. It shows nothing. As evidence, the video is worthless. But, let’s look at the reason why a person might turn the camera away and seem to duck down just before we heard the popping sound of gun shots. If they were taking video and the alleged perpetrator was doing nothing but complying or being successfully restrained by police, it seems the person shooting the video would have kept the camera pointed at the incident and the entire shooting would have been captured. But, if the person shooting the video glimpsed something like the perp pushing the officer off and his arm coming up, possibly with a weapon, or possibly reaching for an officer’s gun, then the natural instinct would have been to worry about one’s own safety and duck down and not be concerned if the camera was still pointing at the incident being recorded. Based on only that, my initial instinct is to assume that something happened that caused the officers to react in self-defence. But, an assumption isn’t much. So, I’m still out on this one until more facts come to light. And that means FACTS. Not people’s emotions, protests, made up stories or the media’s bias on one side or the other.
Exactly. This is a correct analysis.
I am so sick of people judging the cops. Where is the uproar when an officer is killed. Where is the uproar when these thugs get illegal guns and the libs want to take my guns. I think that police should let these thugs just shoot it out. Then you will hear where are the cops when this is happening? I feel this is time for the police, in every state should either resign or retire, and let the thugs have everything. (Only kidding on the last part)
Maybe if… ( just maybe, mind you ) If The ”Cop had Simply Pulled his revolver… Shoved it into The ” perpetrators” mouth… while he was straddled and helpless on the gound. .And pulled the trigger >>would That, Possibly, give us a “”believable Picture of what was happening here ? Do you think ? Videos or not……. Lets` get to the truth …before throwing out an assessment. (( Most Scenes Change with Different Angles of Viewing.)) Can we at least agree on That ?
Mike Dar says
Yep, time will tell. No on knows if the cops were there for that particular guy, maybe they recognized him, maybe the shot guy had a handful of warrants including using a weapon.
One simply never knows till all is in.
The Ferguson tragedy should have told people to wait for facts to come out.
Personally, working as a cop in a district where there are as many outstanding warrants as there are citizens would be too much for me.
“illegally concealed”???? NO SUCH THING…IT IS OUR RIGHT TO CARRY OPEN OR CONCEALED, IT IS NONE OF THEIR BUSINESS WHAT WE CARRY OR HOW WE CHOOSE TO CARRY, PERIOD…
I can not really say, but the police seem to be getting a beating on every call they go on….. it is the same protestors who would call the police if they needed help in any way, now the people are trying to castrate the police for doing their job. as far as carrying a gun legally i see no problem with that, but if you make an attempt to pull it on the officers it is what it is…. and if the man was carrying legally i say a big if….. he should have announced it immediately to the police and laid down on the ground…..
my opinion….i will bet this though there will be a law suit against the police department of some one trying to make an easy buck.
and they the police in the name of diversity will pay an undisclosed amount of money to a family member… only in america can this happen…..
EEL RIVER says
THE VIDEO IS SO POOR THAT I COULDNT TELL WHAT WAS GOING ON. SOMEBODY SAID HE WAS TASERED. THAT SHOULD SUBDUE YOU. BUT IF YOU ARE ON CERTAIN TYPES OF DRUGS THIS MAY NOT WORK. AT ANY RATE THERE IS A LOT OF SORROW AN HATE GENERATED.
joyce davidson says
The video does not show what happened. If this person (suspect) was carrying legally (not a felon,etc) he should have obeyed the police orders to put up his hands and get down on the ground. It seems that he did not, so he is probably a felon who did not want to go to jail. Just my opinion. The police have very difficult jobs and never know if they will go home to their families at the end of the day. Would YOU do that job? Not me.
FACE THE FACTS, RESTING AN ARREST CAN END ONES RESTING BLUFFS. WHEN A POLICEMAN SAYS “HANDS UP”
ESTA. YOU DO AS THE OFFICER ASK YOU TOO DO, IT IS THAT SIMPLE. REACT IN A RESTING EFFORT CAN COST ONES LIFE, AND THAT GENERALLY IS THE RESTER !
Jim Evans says
That video doesn’t do anyone any justice as it is taken to far away. So if in face, he did go for the gun, then why didn’t the cops grab his arm and a life would of been saved. There was more than one cop on the scene. Cops are afraid of their own shadows and cowards.