Justice Dept. Investigates Alton Sterling Shooting
The U.S. Justice Department announced Wednesday that it is opening a Civil Rights investigation into the police shooting of Alton Sterling.
Video of the Alton Sterling Shooting Sparks Outrage
A video showing two white Baton Rouge officers pinning down and fatally shooting a black male outside of a convenient store sparked outrage on Tuesday.
In the graphic video shot by a witness at the scene, Alton Sterling, 37, can be seen on the ground with an officer holding him down. A second officer attempts to restrain Sterling before someone shouts “He’s got a gun!” An officer then draws an item from his waist and points the item at Sterling’s chest.
More yelling is heard, followed by two loud bangs. After a short reprieve, three more bangs go off. According to reports, Sterling suffered multiple gunshot wounds and was pronounced dead at the scene.
Investigators Comment on Possibility of More Videos
According to the New York Times, the Justice Department will review multiple videos, including dashcam and bodycam footage. However, some reports suggest that the officers’ bodycams may have been knocked loose during the altercation.
Further, while the convenient store’s owner told reporters that he is sure his surveillance cameras caught the altercation, he also admitted that he had not yet seen the surveillance footage.
So far, authorities have not commented on what any of the videos show.
Death of Alton Sterling Latest in a String of Controversial Police Shootings
Sterling’s death is the latest in a series of controversial police shootings. High profile incidents like the deaths of Freddie Gray and Michael Brown have garnered national attention and resulted in large protests.
In another incident, cell phone video captured the shooting of Gilbert Flores by Bexar County Sheriff’s deputies. In the video, Flores is seen with his hands in the air before he is fatally shot.