A second cell phone video released to The Daily Beast shows that Alton Sterling – the 37-year-old Black man who was killed by a White police officer Tuesday morning – was not holding a gun during the incident.
In a press conference Wednesday morning, law enforcement officials did not confirm or deny that Sterling was in possession of a firearm, though the owner of the convenience store where Sterling was shot said the father of five did carry a gun after a friend of his was robbed. Louisiana is an open-carry state.
In the newly released video, an officer can be seen pulling an object out of Sterling’s pocket after he was shot multiple times. It’s unclear if the object is a firearm.
The new video, provided by store owner Abdullah Muflahi, shows the officers pinning Sterling to the ground. One of the officers yells, “He’s got a gun!” before two shots are fired into Sterling’s chest. As the video pans away, three more shots can be heard. When we see Sterling again, he’s reaching up towards his face as his chest fills with blood.
The video “does not appear to support the claim that Sterling’s supposed gun represented an active threat to officers,” The Beast writes.
While Mayor Kip Holden insisted that a “full and fair investigation” will be conducted, Sterling’s family, in a Wednesday press conference, said they did not have a sense of trust in the police department.
That sentiment, according to Garry McFadden – host of Investigation Discovery’s I Am Homicide and a veteran detective – will also erode trust in police within the community. In a conversation with NewsOne, McFadden said the Baton Rouge Police Department should have assigned the family an officer who can keep them updated on any new developments as a way of establishing a relationship.
“During any press conference, did you hear a plea? That is an issue. It creates an environment that they don’t need help and have everything they need,” McFadden, who is part of President Barack Obama’s 21st Century Police Initiative Task Force, said.
That distrust may also be why the latest video is just coming to light.
“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,” Muflahi told The Guardian.
“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?”
You can find more on the shooting, here.