Cops Shoot Alton Sterling on Video; Prompts Extreme Public Outrage
Baton Rouge police officers were struggling on the ground with Alton Sterling when an officer put a gun to Sterling’s chest and fired. A witness caught the event on video, and it has politicians, celebrities, and the public crying foul. The outcry had become so extreme, you can expect Black Lives Matter to start destroying innocent people’s property at any time now.
We hate to report on incidents before all of the facts are released, because we know first-hand that when the news media doesn’t have details then they just make up details to get ratings. However, we expect that the Alton Sterling shooting may become a major issue in the next few days and weeks, so we want you to be aware what is happening.
Initial details are scarce, but Baton Rouge Police reportedly responded to a call on Tuesday morning of a man carrying a gun and threatening people in front of a convenience store. It’s not clear what happened before the video started, but next thing we know, police officers are ordering Alton Sterling to the ground. When Sterling resists, officers tackle him. On the ground, one of the police officers calls out that Sterling has a gun. The second police officer unholsters his pistol and points it at Sterling’s chest, and tells him not to move. There’s more shouting and the police officer shoots Sterling.
We don’t have all of the details, so we are unable to give a definitive opinion at this time if the shooting was justified. However, while the news media paints a picture of Sterling as an innocent family man who was executed by the police for being black and selling CDs, the video actually seems to support officer’s actions.
First, you have to remember why the officers were there. Sterling allegedly was threatening people while armed with a gun. At the start of the video, the camera moves around so you miss what’s going on, but you can see the police officers backing away and one officer is pointing a weapon at Sterling.
Moments later, we hear what sounds like a Taser air cartridge firing. Officers yell at Starling to get on the ground as the camera faces away from the action. Then, we hear what sounds like a second Taser cartridge firing. It’s not quite clear how we got here, but each officer likely attempted to fire their Taser at Sterling. Based off of this alone, we can presume that there was probable cause to arrest Sterling and that he was actively resisting, prompting officers to deploy their Tasers. In an example of just how high the Taser failure rate is, the Tasers appeared to have no effect.
Officer One then tackles Sterling, bringing him to the ground. Officer Two follows behind and they both get on top of Sterling. Sterling lands on his side, but is able to roll onto his back. We can presume that the officers were attempting to roll Sterling onto his stomach in order to handcuff Sterling. By rolling onto his back with two police officers on top of him, Sterling is clearly demonstrating that he is actively fighting the officer’s attempts to control him, and he’s doing so with some success.
Officer Two then calls out that Sterling has a gun. Both officers can be seen moving for their guns, but Officer One can be seen getting his gun out, pointing it at Sterling’s chest, and telling him not to move. There’s then some shouting (can anybody understand what is said?) and Sterling is shot.
There is apparently security camera and dash cam footage which has not been released yet. Both officers had body cameras, but they fell off in struggle.
Critics are accusing police of a cover-up due to the body cameras falling off. Even when body cameras don’t fall off, they rarely show any usable footage once officers are hands-on. It’s also a common occurrence for body cameras to fall off; one of the most common ways to attach body cameras is with a magnet.
More details are expected to be released soon on the Alton Sterling shooting, but we don’t immediately see anything to indicate that this wasn’t justified.