Abdullah Muflahti sat on a beer cooler inside the Triple S Food Mart and described what it was like to watch police kill his friend.
“It was a nightmare, it was a nightmare,” Muflahti, the owner of this small convenience store, said over and over. “I kept expecting to wake up.”
Alton Sterling, a 37-year-old black man, was standing in the parking lot selling CDs as he had for years when two white cops arrived on Tuesday night. By Wednesday morning he was dead and protesters were in the city’s streets. Calls erupted from Congress and the NAACP for an independent investigation into the shooting, which the Justice Department announced within hours. New video footage has emerged showing the fatal police shooting of 37-year-old black man Alton Sterling.
The graphic footage shows Sterling being thrown to the ground by cops Blane Salamoni and Howie Lake II, from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, after they received a complaint about a man making threats with a gun while selling CDs.
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. Officers Blane Salamoni and Howie Lake were reportedly responding to a 911 call about a man threatening someone with a gun before they arrived, but Muflahti said no one was waving a gun, certainly not Sterling.
“He didn’t even tell me about anything, he usually tells me,” Muflahi said. “He’s not that type of person. It would have been a very big problem to pull his gun out.”
A Baton Rouge police dispatcher told officers that a 911 caller said a man matching the description of Alton Sterling at the store’s location “pulled a gun” on him, according WAFB-TV. (Police have not released the original 911 call.) “2100 North Foster, cross Fairfield. Selling CDs on the corner. Gun in his pocket. He pulled a gun on a complainant and told him he couldn’t be around there.”
Muflahti walked out the front door when he saw the officers talking to Sterling and said there was no “altercation,” as police claimed, until the cops tasered and tackled Sterling. That’s when Muflahti took out his phone and started recording.
This video in its entirety—despite its graphic nature—because it shows what happened before, during, and after the killing of Sterling. A previous video only showed him being tackled and the first two gunshots
One of the officers then yells at Sterling: ‘You f****** move and I swear to God…’
Less than two seconds later, the first shot is heard, followed quickly by another as the startled store owner turns the camera away from the gruesome scene. Three more shots are heard as the clip ends. Another video also captured the moment Sterling was shot, with a woman heard screaming as gunfire is heard
The new video – shot by the convenience store’s owner – offers a different angle of the attack, offering a clearer picture of Salamoni and Lake as one straddled and the other pinned Sterling to the ground before shots were fired. Another video, shot from a nearby car, is more blurry but captures the horror as customers watch Sterling get shot. Police told The Advocate that the officers were wearing body cameras during the shooting but the recording devices apparently came loose during the incident.