Second Video Suggests Alton Sterling Was Not Holding Gun During Police Shooting

Margaret Hartmann, New York Magazine, July 7, 2016

In video of the shooting of Alton Sterling early on Tuesday morning, Baton Rouge police are heard shouting “he’s got a gun” before firing the shots that ended the 37-year-old black man’s life. Officers were responding to a report that a man fitting Sterling’s description had pulled a gun on someone outside the Triple S Food Mart, and Baton Rouge police chief Carl Dabadie Jr. said on Wednesday, “When officers arrived, Sterling was armed and the altercation ensued that resulted in the loss of his life.”

Now a second video of the shooting has emerged, and it appears to show that Sterling did not have a gun in his hand when he was shot by police. Abdullah Muflahti, who owns the convenience store and was friends with Sterling, shot the video on his phone and shared it with the Daily Beast. {snip}

The second video shows more clearly what happened after police officers Blane Salamoni and Howie Lake tackled Sterling and pinned him to the ground. One of the officers has his knee on Sterling’s left arm. Sterling moves his right arm, but his hand isn’t visible. The camera shakes as multiple shots are fired. When it refocuses, Sterling’s chest is bloody, and his arms are splayed out, hands apparently empty. A few seconds later, one of the officers pulls an object from Sterling’s right pants pocket. Police have not confirmed that it was a gun.

{snip}

James Durdin, Salamoni’s father-in-law, told the New York Daily News that Black Lives Matter protesters, hundreds of whom turned out on Tuesday, are using the situation to promote an anti-police agenda. “It burns my you-know-what when it’s–usually the black people–that try to make an agenda out of this,” Durdin said. “What I’d like to see is them with no police at all, so they can know what it’s like not to have them … The majority of (cops) would never be abusive. Does anyone give a you-know-what about that? We’ll have social chaos (without cops).”

{snip}

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