Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

In Louisiana, Police Shooting of Black Man Captured on Video

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

In Louisiana, Police Shooting of Black Man Captured on Video

Article excerpt

About 200 protestors took to the streets of Baton Rouge Tuesday afternoon, after a Louisiana police officer shot and killed Alton Sterling, a 37-year-old black man, outside of a Baton Rouge convenience store.

The shooting took place early Tuesday morning. The two officers arrived at the convenience store at around 12:35 a.m., responding to a call that described a man in a red shirt selling CDs who had allegedly threatened the male caller with a gun.

Unverified video footage of the encounter, which ended in Mr. Sterling's death, was posted online. The footage shows the officers forcing Sterling to the ground and taking out their guns. The audio appears to capture one officer saying something that includes "going for the gun," according to a Washington Post analysis.

Two sounds like shots ring out, and the video-taper drops his phone as the people around react in shock and horror.

Alton was dead by the time the ambulance arrived at 12:46 a.m. A report from the coroner's officer found that he had been shot more than two times. Baton Rouge Police Cpl. L'Jean Mckneely Jr. said two officers "have been placed on administrative leave per standard procedure," and that video would be reviewed as part of the investigation.

Protestors chanting "black lives matter" and "hands up don't shoot" began gathering in the streets Tuesday afternoon and stayed late into the night, as news - and the video - continued to spread.

Activists and mourners have been pointing to the disturbing parallels between the shooting and its video recording and past tragedies involving police violence, like the 2015 murder of Walter Scott in South Carolina, or the 2014 death of Eric Garner, who died after being put in a chokehold by NYPD, both of which were filmed by non-police observers.

In recent years, the presence of the cellphone video has played a crucial role in investigations, as well as fueling public outrage and awareness of these cases.

"In most cases . …

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