New details about the highly publicized shooting of Alton Sterling have emerged. According to the Advocate, the US Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Louisiana has issued a Federal Court Order to have Alton Sterling’s autopsy records sealed which would prohibit the documents from being released to the public, and now a federal judge has approved the order.
“We have been issued a second Federal Court Order prohibiting the release of the first court order as well,” said Beau Clark with the East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner’s Office
It has been reported that the full autopsy record confirms that Sterling died from multiple gunshot wounds to the back and chest. Most people who have followed the case are aware of the six gunshot wounds that led to Alton Sterling’s death, but the toxicology report and more detailed aspects of the report will not be available for the public to review, according to WAFB News.
@WAFB we don't need to see them anyway, we saw the video. He was shot multiple times in the chest.— Ali (@DeadLikeAaliyah) August 2, 2016
Although it is not uncommon for this type of federal order to be released for the sake of the integrity of an ongoing investigation, many people speculate that the documents have been sealed in an effort to hide more information about the case from the public. For those who don’t know, the surveillance footage was confiscated without a search warrant despite the store owner’s Abdullah Muflahi’s, refusal.
The dash cam footage has been withheld and the body cams also fell off during as officers Blane Salamoni and Howie Lake restrained Alton Sterling. The videos that surfaced on social media are the only videos that have been released. Many people fear authorities are withholding information in an effort to build a case that justifies the officers’ use of force, but at this point the accusations are only speculative.
Investigators are still working to figure out exactly what led to the shooting of Alton Sterling, but no further details have been released as of yet. Alton Sterling’s death has made national headlines and protests have been organized around the country in an effort to fight against police brutality. The Baton Rouge shooting along with the officer-involved shooting of Philando Castile also led to a surge in police deaths.
Just days after both of the shootings, five officers with the Dallas Police Department were killed during a sniper attack at a demonstration against fatal police shootings. The military-trained sniper was identified as Micah Johnson. Then, on July 17, an ex-marine, identified as Gavin Long, shot and killed three Baton Rouge police officers. One of the officers who survived the shooting remains in critical condition. Both shootings were carried out as forms of revenge for the officer-involved shootings. Long and Johnson’s actions have received mixed opinions with some Americans appalled by the deadly shootings and others applauding them for their disturbing efforts.
Although Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton quickly responded to the shooting of Philando Castile by holding St. Anthony police officer Jeronimo Yanez accountable, the investigation into the death of Alton Sterling has been ongoing.
“Would this have happened if those passengers, the driver were white?” Gov. Dayton asked. “I don’t think it would have. I can’t say how shocked I am and deeply, deeply offended that this would happen to somebody in Minnesota,” Dayton said grimly, according to NBC News. “No one should be shot in Minnesota for a taillight being out of function. No one should be killed in Minnesota while seated in their car.”
Alton Sterling autopsy report sealed by feds, WAFB reports https://t.co/MkI9oqT4B5— Gary Weston (@GaryWeston11) August 2, 2016
The Baton Rouge police officers involved in the shooting of Alton Sterling remain on administrative leave with pay while the investigation is underway.
[Photo by Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images]