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Alton Sterling: Video 'shows US police shooting black man in Louisiana'

July 06,2016 14:08

A video has emerged appearing to show two white police officers holding down and shooting dead a black man during an incident in the US state of Louisiana. The confrontation took place in the state capital, Baton Rouge, on Tuesday after reports of a ...and more »



Media captionDemonstrations broke out on the streets of Baton Rouge after the fatal shootingA video has emerged appearing to show two white police officers holding down and shooting dead a black man during an incident in the US state of Louisiana. The confrontation took place in the state capital, Baton Rouge, on Tuesday after reports of a man threatening people with a gun outside a shop.A post-mortem examination showed the victim, Alton Sterling, 37, died of gunshot wounds to the chest and back. The video shows two officers wrestling a man in a red shirt to the floor.The man struggles and one of the officers pins his arm to the floor with his knee and then appears to pull out his gun and point it at the man. A voice is heard shouting: "He's got a gun. Gun." Then shots ring out and the camera moves away. Someone - apparently a bystander - can be heard saying "Oh my God", followed by another asking, "They shot him?" She replies: "Yes."Why do US police kill unarmed black men?
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The incident comes amid heightened tension in the US over the deaths of African-American men at the hands of police. There are more than 1,000 deadly shootings by police in the US each year, and those killed are disproportionately black Americans.

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Facebook

Image caption

This Facebook image of Alton Sterling has been widely circulated on US media

Hours after the shooting, a crowd of about 200 people staged a protest at the scene, blocking roads and chanting "Black lives matter". They were moved on by police but organisers said they would reassemble in front of City Hall later. Police spokesman Cpl L'Jean McKneely said the officers had been called in after reports that a man selling CDs outside a convenience store had threatened someone with a gun. Mr Sterling, a father of five, died at the scene.Cpl McKneely said that the two officers involved had been placed on administrative leave, which is standard procedure.The short mobile phone footage was circulated on social media and on local news outlets hours after the shooting.

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AP

Image caption

A road junction near the scene of the shooting was briefly blocked by protesters

Abdul Muflahi, who owns the shop outside which the incident took place, told WAFB TV station that one officer had used a stun gun on the man but that a struggle then ensued with the second officer. He said that the first officer then shot the man "four to six times".Mr Muflahi said the man did not appear to have a gun in his hand during the altercation although he saw officers remove a gun from the man's pocket following the shooting. Police could not confirm his account.

Police said both officers had been wearing body cameras and the police car had a dashboard camera. Mr Muflahi told local media that police also took surveillance footage from his shop.Flowers and messages have been left at the scene of the shooting.Louisiana Congressman Cedric Richmond said in a statement that the shooting was "a tragedy", adding that the family of the victim and residents of Baton Rouge "deserve answers, and that is what we will seek".Are you in Baton Rouge? Were you in the area at the time of the incident? Please email us your experiences at haveyoursay@bbc.co.uk.You can also contact us in the following ways:WhatsApp: +44 7525 900971

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