Several thousand protesters took to the streets on Wednesday night in protest at the fatal police shooting of street seller Alton Sterling – just hours after a graphic new video emerged showing the moment cops pinned him to the ground and pulled the trigger.
The graphic footage shows Sterling being thrown to the ground by cops Blane Salamoni and Howie Lake II after they received a complaint about a man making threats with a gun while selling CDs outside a convenience store in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
The cops are seen yelling at Sterling to ‘get on the ground’ – but he does not – before he is tackled by the officers.
As Sterling continues to move on the ground, the officer believed to be Lake reaches for his gun and then points it at the father-of-five’s chest.
One of the officers then yells: ‘He’s got a gun! Gun! You f****** move and I swear to God.’
Less than two seconds later, the first shot is heard, followed quickly by another two. Three more shots are heard as the startled shop owner momentarily turns his camera away from the scene.
As Sterling lies on the ground with blood seeping from his chest, one of the officers leans over and grabs what appears to be a gun from the street seller’s pocket. It is not clear whether Sterling was reaching for his gun, but he was not holding it at the time he was shot.
After the deadly incident, police took CCTV footage from the store without the owner’s permission, but said they would be handing the video over to investigators.
It also emerged that Lake, a three-year veteran, has been suspended before for another police-involved shooting of a black man.