La. police shooting caught on video strains community

Published 10:17 am Thursday, July 7, 2016

BATON ROUGE, La. — An emotional, at times angry, evening unfolded in the working class, predominantly black Louisiana neighborhood where the police killing of a black man was caught on videotape.

Hundreds of mourners, friends and family members of Alton Sterling, 37, gathered Wednesday in Baton Rouge for a second night of protest, prayer and remembrance.

Sterling was shot early Tuesday as he wrestled with two white police officers outside the convenience store where he sold music and movies on compact discs. Police say he was armed.

Email newsletter signup

Cellphone video of the shooting posted online by a community activist set off angry protests, coming at a time when law enforcement officers across the country are under close scrutiny over what some see as indiscriminate use of deadly force against blacks.

Moving quickly to keep tensions from boiling over, Democratic Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards asked the U.S. Justice Department to lead a civil rights investigation into the killing.