The U.S. Department of Justice has announced a civil rights investigation into the death of 37 year old Alton Sterling, who was shot multiple times by police during an incident in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Graphic video shot via cellphone, which appears to show Sterling being tackled and shot by two police officers, has gone viral within hours.
Sterling’s death sparked protests against police brutality in Baton Rouge, and family members and the local NAACP branch called for an independent review outside of the city’s police department.
“I have full confidence that this matter will be investigated thoroughly, impartially and professionally,” Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said at a news conference Wednesday.
At a press conference Wednesday morning, Gov. John Bel Edwards said, “I have full confidence that this matter will be investigated thoroughly.”
From NBC News:
Baton Rouge police said uniformed officers responded to an anonymous call after midnight Tuesday about a black male in a red shirt who was selling CDs and had reportedly threatened the caller with a gun.
“”The video footage released today of the shooting of Alton Sterling … was deeply troubling.””
The officers, both of whom are white, “made contact” with the 5-foot-11 Sterling in the parking lot of the Triple S Food Mart, and an altercation ensued, police said in a statement.
“Sterling was shot during the altercation and died at the scene,” the statement said.
Two officers have been placed on administrative leave “per standard procedure,” it added, saying the investigation was ongoing.
In a heartbreaking moment, Sterling’s son broke down sobbing as his family made a public statement to the press today.