BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) – Gov. John Bel Edwards is meeting Wednesday with Col. Mike Edmonson, supt. of Louisiana State Police, and East Baton Rouge District Attorney Hillar Moore, according to the governor’s office.
The news came shortly after community leaders held a news conference at the Baton Rouge City Hall on Wednesday, one day after an officer-involved shooting that resulted in the death of Alton Sterling. Several leaders attended and addressed the public.
Mike McClanahan, the leader of the Baton Rouge chapter of the NAACP called for East Baton Rouge Mayor-President Kip Holden to fire Baton Rouge Police Chief Carl Dabadie and for Holden to resign.
Edmond Jordan is the attorney for Sterling’s family. He asked for Louisiana State Police to take over the investigation into the shooting. Community leaders are asking for the officers involved to be arrested.
Several hundred protesters gathered outside a Baton Rouge store overnight where police shot and killed a man early Tuesday morning. The man reportedly had a gun in his pocket and cell phone footage captured part of the gunfire:
— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) July 6, 2016
The Baton Rouge Police Department is expected to hold a news conference later Wednesday. The public hopes to learn more about what led to Tuesday morning’s deadly police shooting of a man in the parking lot of a north Baton Rouge convenience store.
Police said they got a call that Alton Sterling, 37, was selling CDs in the store’s parking lot and had a gun. Two officers arrived and confronted him. The store owner said things quickly got out of control and one officer used a stun gun on Sterling. The other officer then tackled him. Seconds later, he said one of the officers shot Sterling four to six times. An autopsy showed Sterling died of multiple gunshot wounds to his back and chest.
In cell phone video that shows part of the shooting, one officer is heard yelling that Sterling has a gun. The store owner said police pulled the gun from Sterling’s pocket after the shooting. A Baton Rouge school board member who knew Sterling is among those calling for answers.
“It just didn’t make sense for someone to become so angry that’s supposed to protect our lives and take this young man’s life,” said Vereta Lee. “It just doesn’t make sense.”
State Rep. C. Denise Marcelle, D-Baton Rouge, is calling on Louisiana State Police to take over the investigation. Meanwhile, Congressman Cedric Richmond, D-LA, is requesting an investigation by the US Department of Justice. He released the following statement:
The video footage released today of the shooting of Alton Sterling by officers of the Baton Rouge Police Department was deeply troubling and has understandably evoked strong emotion and anger in our community. I share in this anger and join the community in the pursuit of justice. My prayers and thoughts are with Mr. Sterling’s family as they deal with this tragedy. There are a number of unanswered questions surrounding Mr. Sterling’s death. Including questions about the initial calls for police presence, the level of force used by officers, the verbal and physical altercation, and the response of the officers after he was shot. I call on the U.S. Department of Justice to conduct a full and transparent investigation into this incident. The cause of justice requires state and local law enforcement to join in this request as soon as possible. I ask the leaders and citizens of Baton Rouge to join me in demonstrating our anger with dignity and demanding proper focus on our cause with perseverance. His family and the citizens of Baton Rouge–especially the citizens of North Baton Rouge–deserve answers and that is what we will seek in a fair, thorough, and transparent way.
Officials said both officers had on body cameras, but they fell off during the struggle and do not show the shooting. However, police are analyzing dash cam video and store surveillance video, which are believed to have captured the ordeal.
Community pastors are inviting the public to gather near the store of the deadly shooting for a prayer vigil at 6 p.m.