Graphic footage of the horrific shooting of Alton Sterling is going viral on social media. In the early morning hours of July 5, Alton Sterling was gunned down by officers with the Baton Rouge Police Department.
The disturbing clip begins with what appears to be a verbal encounter between Alton, an African-American male, and two white police officers in front of a convenience store. Sterling was reportedly selling CDs outside Triple S Food Mart, at the corner of Fairfields Avenue and North Foster Drive in Baton Rouge, L.A., according to KDFA.
At the beginning of the clip, one of the officers can be heard ordering Alton Sterling to “get on the ground.” As he stood with his hands up, one of the officers tackled him and tossed him over the hood of a car before he hit the ground. At this point, one of the officers can be seen subduing Alton Sterling.
Lying face down on the ground, one officer placed a hand on Alton’s neck. Then, another officer could be heard yelling, “He’s got a gun!” In a matter of seconds, the situation took an abrupt turn for the worse. While lying face down on the ground, one of the officer’s guns went off.
Here is the graphic clip of Alton Sterling’s final moments before he was shot by a BRPD officer:
**Warning: This video contains graphic content that may be offensive to some viewers. Viewer discretion is strongly advised.**
Store owner Abdul Muflahi, who saw the horrific scene unfold, recalled seeing a blast of light as the officer fired his weapon toward the ground in Sterling’s direction. Muflahi stated that although Sterling was armed, he was not reaching for the weapon at the time he was shot, according to MS News Now. It wasn’t until after the shooting that an officer removed a gun from Alton Sterling’s pocket. The disturbing video that has surfaced online has sparked outrage. In fact, many bystanders began gathering at the scene of the crime early this morning, and now protests are underway.
Alton Sterling’s death has reignited the controversy behind Boosie’s straight-laced “F*** The Police” record where he openly criticizes BRPD for unfair police practices, excessive force, and racial profiling. In addition to their disdain for BRPD, many local citizens are demanding answers, but unfortunately, the department hasn’t offered much of an explanation for Alton Sterling’s death.
In fact, another issue that has raised speculation about improper police practices is the fact that the viral cell phone video and surveillance footage are the only videos that actually exist.
Apparently, the police officer’s body cam reportedly fell on the ground while the altercation was taking place. Surprisingly, Cpl. McKneely of the Baton Rouge Police Department has admitted that he wasn’t even 100 percent sure the officer even had a body cam, according to WAFB News.
“We have video from the store, we’re going to get with the store owners, get their video,” Cpl. McKneely said. “We have dash cam, I believe the officer had a body camera. I’m not 100 percent sure,” he admitted. “It’s an ongoing investigation,” McKneely added. “We are going to interview the officers and get as much information as we need to do a thorough investigation. We’re going to be clear, precise and sure the community knows what transpired here at this location.”
The investigation into the shooting of Alton Sterling is gradually picking up steam on social media, and local representatives are demanding that the investigation not be conducted internally due to the possibility of conflicts of interest. The two BRPD officers, who have yet to be identified, have been placed on administrative leave. The death of Alton Sterling marks the third officer-involved shooting in East Baton Rouge Parish this year. Alton Sterling was a father of five.
[Image via Facebook/Alton Sterling]