The death of Alton Sterling has sent shock waves through not just the state of Louisiana but also the entire nation and the world. Many believe it is just one of the reasons that the horrific Dallas police shootings happened on Thursday night and the reason that violence has escalated around the United States. Now, there is still information trickling out and some say that police shot and killed the wrong man, but if it wasn’t Alton Sterling they were looking for, then who was?
The video of Alton Sterling’s death is one that has resonated throughout the news for the past three days, and there is still so much that seems to be unknown. The video that made the rounds on social media cut away right before the fatal shots were fired, but many people still think they knew what happened.
Many believe that the East Baton Rouge police officers had other options than to shoot Sterling dead. He was a man simply standing outside of the Triple S Food Mart and selling some CDs, and there are many who see this killing as murder.
Last night, I watched the video of the shooting of Alton Sterling. To me, it looked like an execution.
— John Lewis (@repjohnlewis) July 7, 2016
He was a black man and a father of five and just 37 years old. Sterling was standing outside of that convenience store selling some bootleg CDs and ended up being shot dead, but was he the man that the police were there for in the first place?
Abdullah Muflahi is the owner of the Triple S Food Mart in Baton Rouge, and according to NBC News, he believes that police murdered his friend Alton Sterling. He truly believes that his video shows that fact and that police shot the wrong man.
Authorities state that Sterling was armed with a weapon, but Muflahi says that there was never a gun brandished by anyone but the police. He also said that Sterling never once threatened the police or anyone else at the food mart.
— Michael Skolnik (@MichaelSkolnik) July 6, 2016
Baton Rouge police said that a call came into 911 and said that Alton Sterling was at the Triple S Food Mart and acting threatening with a gun toward people. Muflahi is not entirely sure who made that call, but he knows it could not have been because of the peaceful man he had known for five or six years.
“He just wanted to know what was going on. Why are they coming to arrest him? He was asking them: ‘What’d I do wrong? What’s going on? What’d I do wrong? Why you messing with me?'”
After Alton Sterling was shot, Muflahi says that is when he saw police remove a weapon from his friend’s pocket, but it was not out. Police were even said to have confirmed that the gun was still in Sterling’s pocket after he had been shot and killed.
There was never a chance for him to have pulled it out during the incident with police officers Howie Lake and Blane Salamoni. If that’s the case, and Sterling had never taken the gun from his pocket, then why was a 911 call placed about him?
As Winning Democrats states, “Alton Sterling was THE WRONG GUY.”
The call that was made to police said that “a man” was threatening people with a gun outside the Triple S Food Mart. Reports now state that the call wasn’t necessarily made about Alton Sterling, but simply about “a man.”
Muflahi exited his store to let police know that there was no one who had been threatening and no one brandishing a gun. His words went ignored by the police and they reportedly went after Alton Sterling anyway.
— Katia (@GerdesJohanne) July 8, 2016
CNN reports that the 911 call was made to East Baton Rouge police by a homeless man who was said to have actually harassed Alton Sterling. The man reportedly saw Sterling selling CDs and asked him for some money, but Sterling refused.
This led to the unnamed homeless man constantly asking for money which led to Sterling showing his gun to him. That was when the 911 call was placed and the man told police of a “man” outside the Triple S Food Mart threatening people with a gun.
As of now, the investigation is still ongoing. Police have really not said much else about the homeless man at this time.
Alton Sterling’s death is one that was only the beginning of a whirlwind week that included the police shooting death of Philando Castile in Minnesota and the shooting deaths of five Dallas police officers. There is still so much that needs to come to the surface and still so much that will be investigated, but many believe that it wasn’t Sterling who the police were there to confront. If it wasn’t him, was there anyone at all? If so, who was it?
[Photo by Mark Walheiser/Getty Images]