Early Tuesday morning, two New Orleans Police officers respond to a 911 call from an anonymous caller in Baton Rouge. The caller claimed that the man outside selling ads in front of his store threatened him with a weapon. The man was thirty-seven-year-old Alton Sterling. He later died following the altercation.

Police Force.

When the officers engaged Sterling, there was an altercation, in which Sterling was thrown to the ground. Someone then shouts “He’s got a gun” and one of the officers, while pinning Sterling to the ground proceeded to shoot Sterling five times at point blank range.

Information at this point is varied upon whom is spoken to. Both officers were said to be wearing the required body cameras, but somehow, both cameras fell from both officers during the struggle.

Video taken by by-stander.

The video we do have was taken by a bystander and was placed on social media, causing massive outrage within the community and country as a whole. Baton Rouge police said they are reviewing that video. The two officers involved have been placed on administrative leave. The owner of the store, Triple S Food Mart, Abdullah Muflahi, where Sterling was killed said that he was sure that his surveillance cameras caught some different angles of the incident. Officers have taken that footage for review.


A preliminary autopsy of Sterling’s body concluded that he did die of multiple gunshots to the back and chest, however East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner William “Beau” Clark who conducted the preliminary autopsy, declined any additional details, telling reported that a full autopsy will be conducted over 60-90 days and the report would be given to law enforcement.

Sterling loved by his community.

Alton Sterling was beloved by his community. Known as the “cd man”, he and Muflahi had a 6-year friendship, where Muflahi willingly allowed Sterling to sell cd's in front of the Food Mart. Muflahi told reporters that only five minutes previous the incident, Sterling had walked into the Food Mart, purchased a drink, and was joking around with Muflahi.

Black Lives and Police Brutality.

Alton Sterling joins a list of five hundred and fifty-seven others that have been killed by police officers this year. Given the current climate created by a history of documented police brutality, excessive force by law enforcement, and the lack of any tangible punishment or convictions of these excessive acts will undoubtedly cause more rallies and further discussion on the roles and responsibilities of law enforcement to the communities, including communities of color, that they are sworn to protect.