Alton Sterling, 37, was killed by Louisiana police during an altercation early Tuesday morning outside a Baton Rouge convenience store where he sold compact discs.
Police responded to an anonymous report that a black man in a red shirt had threatened someone with a gun. When officers arrived, a struggle ensued and police shot Sterling multiple times, killing him, according to the New York Daily News.
Cellphone video from the shooting, which can be seen below, appeared to show Sterling being restrained by police on the ground, which makes one wonder why exactly they needed to shoot him multiple times, as he didn’t appear to be putting up a fight. (Warning: graphic violence and language)
Police did recover a gun from Sterling, but from his pocket, which would seem to indicate that he hadn’t pulled it out during the struggle with the officers.
Protests over this shooting have already begun. If this death was not justified, as the cellphone video would appear to indicate, then by all means these officers be punished for what they did.
There is no excuse to shoot an unarmed man who is pinned to the ground — it’s difficult even to imagine some sort of extenuating circumstances that would justify such an action by law enforcement.
All the facts have not been released yet, so it is possible that something happened to justify the officers’ use of deadly force. People should wait until all the facts of the situation come out before rushing to judgment.
It is a tragic certainly that the race hustlers of America will use this shooting has an excuse to call for more violence against police nationwide. Instead of accepting that (if this shooting was not justified) these officers acted way outside their authority, race baiters will try to use this instance to paint all police as horrible human beings.
Let’s hope and pray that calmer heads prevail.
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