Alton Sterling Killed by Baton Rouge Police; Talib Kweli, Lecrae and More React [VIDEO]
Warning: the video footage is graphic and disturbing
Alton Sterling, a 37-year old father of five, was fatally shot by Baton Rouge police outside a convenience store in an incident that was caught on a cellphone video.
In the footage, Sterling appears to be shot by an officer as he is pinned to the ground. According to NBC News, the Baton Rouge Police Department said uniformed officers responded to a call early Tuesday about a black male in a red shirt who was selling CDs and had reportedly threatened the caller with a gun.
Officers saw Sterling in the parking lot of the Triple S Food Mart when an altercation ensued, according to police statement.
"Baton Rouge Police are investigating an officer involved shooting that occurred around 12:35am this morning at 2112 North Foster Dr, Triple S Food Mart," the official statement reads. "Uniformed officers responded to a disturbance call from a complainant who stated that a black male who was selling music cd’s and wearing a red shirt threatened him with a gun. Officers made contact with ALTON STERLING, 37, 6061 Plank Rd, in the parking lot of the business. An altercation between Sterling and the officers ensued. Sterling was shot during the altercation and died at the scene."
Dr. William Clark, the East Baton Rouge coroner confirmed that Sterling died from gunshot wounds to the chest and back, but wouldn't say if Sterling had been shot seven times, as was indicated.
In the hours following the shooting, a crowd of nearly 200 people protested at the scene; they were moved by the police but protests are expected today outside City Hall.
"That was not the way to handle the situation," Sterling's sister, Mignon Chambers, told AP. "[The police] should have been doing what they were trained to do. Not take somebody's life away."
""I really wanna know more about what happened, about the whole situation, because my brother didn't deserve it," she said to Baton Rouge's CBS affiliate, WAFB. "He didn't deserve it at all."
The two officers have been placed on administration leave "per standard procedure." An investigation was ongoing.
Congressman Cedric Richmond of Louisiana's 2nd District addressed the shooting as "deeply troubling."
"The video footage released today of the shooting of Alton Sterling ... was deeply troubling and has understandably evoked strong emotion and anger in our community," Richmond said via statement. "I share in this anger and join the community in the pursuit of justice."
The footage was shared on social media, sparking questions and anger from notables.
"Keep filming the police," tweeted Talib Kweli. "All the time. RIP #AltonSterling."
"Another shattered family," Lecrae tweeted. "Lord bless them. Protect them. #AltonSterling."
You can read more reactions to the disturbing Alton Sterling killing below: