BATON ROUGE (CN) – A second video has emerged of the killing of Alton Sterling, the black man who was shot dead by police in a convenience store parking lot early Tuesday morning.
The video was shot by Abdullah Muflahi, owner of the Triple S Food Mart, where the incident occurred and it appears to confirm Sterling was not holding a gun in his hand when he got into an altercation with officers.
Sterling sold homemade CDs and DVDs outside the convenience store.
Officers Blane Salamoni and Howie Lake were reportedly responding to a 911 call from a homeless man who said Sterling had threatened him with a gun, according to a report from CNN, but Muflahi said no one was waving a gun, certainly not Sterling.
The store owner began filming soon after police arrived to the scene, because, he said, something just didn’t seem right.
“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,” Mulflahi told the Daily Beast.
Muflahi 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.
The video, which Muflahi provided to the Daily Beast, shows very clearly that Sterling was not holding a gun in his hand at the time when, restrained on the ground, one of the police officers shot him several times in the chest.
Sterling’s left hand, without a gun, waves in front of him in the video. For a few moments he is still alive, writhing as a spout of blood forms in a hole in his chest.
Mulflahi told reporters Wednesday that as far as he saw, Sterling never brought out a gun or threatened officers in any way.
Other witnesses have said they clearly heard Sterling say “What did I do?” several times before he was shot.
Mulflahi said he had known Sterling five or six years and had never seen him get into a fight or even an argument.
“He was a nice guy,” Mulflahi said. “Always smiling, always happy, always joking with people.”
Muflahi said Sterling had sold his homemade CDs and DVDs from the parking lot of his store for years and that the two were friendly. Sterling had been inside the store the night of the incident, joking with Muflahi, when the officers arrived.
“He sits right outside the door. If there was anything that had happened, I think I would have heard it,” Muflahi said, according to a report from NBC.
But then, Sterling didn’t seem to know why officers had been called either, by Muflahi’s account.
“He just wanted to know what was going on. Why are they coming to arrest him?” Muflahi said. “He was asking them, ‘What did I do wrong? What’s going on? What did I do wrong? Why are you messing with me?'”
“They shot him three times already. Then they shot him another three times,” Muflahi said.
The anti-violence group Stop the Killing Inc. took responsibility for the first video that appeared and showed the scene before Over the past decade, Stop the Killing Inc., has chronicled more than 30 deadly shootings in the city, the AP said.
Members of Stop the Killing Inc. were listening to police scanners early Tuesday when they heard a report of a disturbance at the store.
“That video pretty much speaks for itself. That officer executed him, is what we see on that video” The group’s founder, Arthur “Silky Slim” Reed, 43, told the AP.
Protests in the street near where Sterling was fatally shot raged on Wednesday afternoon and into Thursday. Governor John Bel Edwards said Thursday he would attend a prayer vigil with community and faith leaders scheduled for Thursday and was meeting with federal officials for an update on the investigation into the shooting death of Sterling.
Baton Rouge has been the site of growing racial inequality and tension over the past few years.
A 2014 PBS Frontline documentary titled “Separate and Unequal” chronicled a longstanding battle over school de-segregation in Baton Rouge, which culminated with a petition filed in 2015 in which mostly white, mostly affluent residents, frustrated by the city’s declining public schools, sought to form their own school district. The plan would have left behind a population of mostly black, mostly poor students.
“We’ve had enough of failing our children,” Lionel Rainey, the spokesperson for the group wanting to succeed, told PBS. “We’re not going to do it anymore. And we’ll go to the length of creating our own city, to create our own education system to take control back from the status quo.”
The group’s petition was denied in 2015, but racial tensions continued.
Last February as Baton Rouge hosted its annual Spanish Town Mardi Gras parade, a float mocking the Black Lives Matter movement and police brutality rolled through.
The float, carrying a banner that read “Pink Lives Matter,” showed a flamingo being beaten with police batons and wearing a sign around its neck that said “I can’t breathe” a reference to Eric Garner, the New Yorker who in July 2014 reportedly told police he couldn’t breathe just before he died at the hands of an officer who held him in a chokehold during arrest.
Other floats in that same parade mocked other black people killed at the hands of cops, such as “Freddie Grey Goose,” according to the Baton Rouge Advocate, and some people waved confederate flags.
Cameron Sterling, son of Alton Sterling, is comforted by hands from the crowd at a vigil outside the Triple S convenience store in Baton Rouge, La., Wednesday, July 6, 2016. Alton Sterling, 37, was shot and killed by Baton Rouge police outside the store where he was selling CDs. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
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