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New witness video shows officer taking what appears to be a gun from the 37-year-old’s right pocket after he was fatally shot by Louisiana police
New footage of the fatal police shooting of Alton Sterling in Louisiana shows that a police officer pulled what appears to be a gun out of the 37-year-old’s right pocket after he had been fatally shot.
The 35-second video clip, shot by a witness, is filmed from directly behind Sterling’s body and shows the short struggle between him and Baton Rouge officers Blane Salamoni and Howie Lake.
The clip cuts away just before Sterling, who is struggling on the ground, is shot, but the audio reveals what appear to be two bursts of shots. As the video focuses back on Sterling, he is seen with a large pool of blood on his chest. One officer then appears to reach into Sterling’s pocket and pull out a firearm as Sterling slowly moves his arm towards his head. The video then cuts off.
The video was filmed by Abdullah Muflahi, the owner of the convenience store Sterling was reportedly selling CDs outside of before police were called.
“I was just in shock,” said Muflahi, who is from Yemen and has owned the store since 2010. “They shot him three times, and rolled off of him. Then they shot him three more times.
“That’s his gun they are taking out of his pocket.
“As soon as I finished the video, I put my phone in my pocket. I knew they would take it from me, if they knew I had it. They took my security camera videos. They told me they had a warrant, but didn’t show me one. So I kept this video for myself. Otherwise, what proof do I have?”
Protests broke out in Baton Rouge on Tuesday night after earlier video footage shot by another witness emerged online.
On Wednesday the US Department of Justice (DoJ) said it would investigate the shooting, following a request from local authorities.
Louisiana governor John Bel Edwards described the video footage as “disturbing to say the least” and urged residents to remain calm.
“There should be no doubt in anybody’s mind that this incident is going to be investigated impartially, professionally and thoroughly,” he said.
Later on Wednesday, Hillary Clinton, the Democratic presumptive nominee for president, welcomed the DoJ review and linked Sterling’s death to a string of other high-profile cases of black men killed by police.
“From Staten Island to Baltimore, Ferguson to Baton Rouge, too many African American families mourn the loss of a loved one from a police-involved incident,” Clinton said. “Something is profoundly wrong when so many Americans have reason to believe that our country doesn’t consider them as precious as others because of the color of their skin.”