Cell Phone Video Surfaces In Fatal Baton Rouge Officer-Involved Shooting
Graphic cell phone video has surfaced in a deadly Baton Rouge officer-involved shooting that claimed the life of Alton Sterling.
Baton Rouge Police say they responded to an anonymous call about a man selling CDs outside the Triple S convenience store and that he had a gun on him. Upon their arrival, the officers got into an altercation with Sterling before one of the officers shot and killed him.
Police confirmed to the Investigative Unit that the body cams of both officers involved "fell off" during the fatal shooting incident, but now footage from a nearby witness has surfaced and is going viral on social media.
The clip was recorded by someone who had just left the North Baton Rouge convenience store around 12:30 a.m. Tuesday morning. The cell phone footage showed the altercation that led to police fatally shooting Sterling.
We will not embed or post the raw video here on the site, but if you choose to follow this link to the raw video, be warned: It is VERY NSFW and graphic in nature as gunshots can be clearly heard as officers draw their weapons on Sterling.
According to Baton Rouge Police, an anonymous caller The video shows Sterling being shoved to the ground by officers after it opened up to show the police with their guns drawn.
The person who witnessed and recorded the incident asked not to be identified but revealed to WBRZ that police used tasers before tackling Sterling. The witness said that the tasers didn't seem to affect the man, but also said that he didn't appear to be fighting or resisting officers.
You can hear the officers yell what sounds like "gun" in the video, and police have reported that Sterling did have a gun in his pocket.
Abdul Muflahi, owner of the convenience store, say he was there when the shooting happened and saw police take the gun out of Sterling's pocket "after he was shot and killed."
Muflahi spoke with WBRZ and described what he saw happen outside his store. He doesn't believe the situation was handled correctly at all and says the officers could have handled the situation better than they did.
He said at first Sterling and the officers were arguing. Then he said he saw the officers wrestle with Sterling against a car, throw him to the ground, and tase him in order to subdue him. After tasing him, according to Muflahi, Sterling appeared to be unfazed and police shot Sterling four to six times.
Alton Sterling was known by many as "CD Man," and Muflahi says he has sold CDs outside of his store for years. He says Sterling recently began carrying a gun after a friend of his was robbed a few weeks ago.
The store owner says that while Sterling did carry a gun, he did not have it in his hand during the altercation with Baton Rouge Police.
Sterling does have a criminal history and has recently served time. WBRZ reports a family member said he had been doing fine since being released from incarceration.
A Baton Rouge Police spokesperson says the officer who shot and killed Sterling is currently on administrative leave while footage from police cruiser dash cams, convenience store surveillance, and what is salvageable from the body cameras are investigated.
More than likely, the cell phone footage that has recently surfaced will also be used in the investigation.
Mayor Kip Holden has come out and said this incident is "not going to be a cover up" as he promised a full and fair investigation.