A second video showing the shooting death of Alton Sterling, a black man shot several times while being held on the ground by police outside a Louisiana convenience store, was posted online Wednesday as federal authorities took charge of the investigation and local officials asked residents to keep their protests peaceful. The video, obtained by CNN, shows another angle and was recorded closer to the shooting by one of two white Baton Rouge police officers who were answering a 911 report of a man with a gun. It is the second of two bystander videos that show the encounter. One posted online Tuesday night quickly sparked local protests and drew national attention.
In the new 38-second recording, Sterling is already on the ground, on his back. One officer is kneeling to Sterling’s left. The other officer appears to be straddling Sterling’s legs. Sterling can be seen from the chest up and his lower legs are also visible. His left arms and hands are not visible; his right arm is by his side. After gunshots are heard, the camera pans to the right then back to Sterling, who has a large blood stain on his chest. The officer who was on his legs now lies on the pavement above Sterling’s head, his gun pointed. The officer radios for an ambulance. As Sterling moves his left arm toward his face and then his chest, the other officer appears to remove something from one of Sterling’s right pockets. Baton Rouge Police Chief Carl Dabadie Jr. said Sterling was armed at the time he was killed and one witness said the officer removed a gun from Sterling’s pocket.
Sterling, a 37-year-old man who sold CDs and DVDs outside the store, died of his wounds. The officers involved in Tuesday’s shooting — Blane Salamoni and Howie Lake II — have been placed on administrative leave. A source close to the investigation told CNN the officers were interviewed Tuesday night.
A homeless man reportedly called 911 after Sterling showed him his gun after the man asked him for money, an official told CNN. A Baton Rouge police dispatcher then told officers a man matching Sterling’s description “pulled a gun” on the 911 caller, according WAFB-TV.
Muflahi walked out the front door when he saw the officers talking to Sterling and said there was no “altercation,” as police claimed, until the cops tasered and tackled Sterling. That’s when Muflahi took out his phone and started recording.
“I swear to God if you fucking move!” one of the officers yelled, pointing his gun at Sterling’s chest. “He’s got a gun! Gun!”
Muflahi’s video does not appear to support the officer’s claim that Sterling’s gun represented an active threat: It appears to have been in a pocket and never reached his hand. Instead, the video shows Sterling pinned down, shot twice in the chest, and then shot four more times.
After mortally wounding him, one of the officers removes an object from Sterling’s right pants pocket. (Police during a Wednesday press conference refused to comment on whether Sterling had a gun.)
“Fuck!” one cop yells into his radio. “10-4, 10-4… shots fired! Shots fired!”
Sterling was still alive, the video capturing his left hand moving over a dark pool of blood filling the center of his red T-shirt. When paramedics arrived minutes later, Sterling was dead.
Muflahi said he and two eyewitnesses who were also recording the incident from their vehicle were taken by police to headquarters to be interviewed.