Protests follow Lousiana police killing of Alton Sterling

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Protests are underway in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, following the killing of Alton Sterling, a Black man who was selling CDs in front of a friend’s store. Video captured by a witness shows Sterling being pushed against a car, pinned to the ground, and shot in the chest at point blank range.

While the video is sparking national outrage, a police department spokesperson is claiming not to have yet viewed the footage. While a local investigation is underway, U.S. Congressman Cedric Richmond (Louisiana) has released a statement calling for the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate.

A witness filmed the the shooting from inside a car. After a popping sound, someone yells “get on the ground,” and another pop sound follows.

The camera then shows two officers roughing up Sterling as they drag him to the ground. Though Sterling is not being aggressive, he is resisting a bit. The two officers bring Sterling to the ground and restrain him.

Off camera, someone says, “He’s got a gun.” The officer holding down Sterling’s left arm pulls his gun out, holds it to Sterling’s chest and yells something before firing shots into Sterling’s chest at point blank range.

Louisiana is an open carry state, and witnesses at the scene stated Sterling did not reach for the gun. Reports say the police removed a gun from Sterling’s pocket after the shooting.

Results of the autopsy were released. It states Sterling, 37, of Baton Rouge, died on Tuesday of multiple gunshot wounds to the chest and back, according to East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner Dr. William Clark.

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