The son of Alton Sterling, an African American man who recently shot and killed by police while being arrested, recently broke down in tears during a family press conference. His mother, Quinyetta McMillon, was speaking out about the shooting when the boy suddenly just lost it and started weeping. The video clip has gone viral, and has added more fuel to the fire.
A graphic cell phone video circulating on social media, filmed by a bystander from his car, appears to show 37-year-old Alton Sterling being tackled and shot as two cops pin him to the ground before he is killed. His death has since re-sparked a national outrage against police brutality. Both his family members and civil rights leaders are calling for an independent review outside of the city’s police department, and it is being reported that the U.S. Dept. of Justice is already involved.
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards released a statement saying: “I have full confidence that this matter will be investigated thoroughly, impartially and professionally.” He said the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the FBI in the state will assist the investigation. He added that he has “very serious” concerns after watching the cell phone footage, which was “disturbing, to say the least.”
The officers involved have been identified as officers, both white, as Blane Salamoni, a four-year department veteran, and Howie Lake II, a three-year veteran. They have been placed on administrative leave.
But why were police even called to the scene?
According to the Baton Rouge Police Dept., uniformed officers were responding to a 9-11 call after midnight involving a black male (Alton Sterling) in a red shirt who was selling CDs outside of the Triple S Food Mart. Police said the caller claimed Sterling was behaving a threatening manner, and was in possession of a gun.
After arriving to the scene, officer “made contact” with Sterling in the parking lot of the convenience store, and that is when the altercation reportedly began.
“Sterling was shot during the altercation and died at the scene,” the statement said.