Baton Rouge Reacts To Second Video Of Alton Sterling Shooting
Two black men have been shot and killed in the past two days by police officers. Both shootings were captured on video.
Philando Castile was shot by police Wednesday night outside Minneapolis, while the shooting of Alton Sterling happened Tuesday evening in Baton Rouge.
Here & Now‘s Robin Young provides the latest news and speaks with Edmond Jordan, a Louisiana state representative and spokesman for the Sterling family.
Interview Highlights: Edmond Jordan
On the second video’s release
“The new video sheds a different light. If you listen to the first video, at least when I listen to it, I only heard four shots, but it had been reported that there were up to six shots. And if you listen to the second video, you can hear those two extra shots, so to shoot someone six times and point-blank range I mean is, I mean it’s very disturbing.”
On what the Sterling family wants to see
“Ultimately the family wants to see justice. They want to see the truth come out and justice. And we believe that both video tapes speak for themselves and I think people can clearly see that Alton was not posing any threat to the officers. If there was a gun that actually came out of this pocket, he was not reaching for that, it was not immediately accessible to him.”
On how the situation was handled
“I have sympathy for officers in general who are confronted with dangerous situations, obviously. This situation should have been handled completely differently though. Think of it this way, in Louisiana we are concealed carry state, so we can carry a gun as long as you have a permit, and if that same 911 call had come through saying that someone had a gun or was brandishing a gun, there are other ways to disarm individuals peacefully and without having to shoot them six times resulting in their death.”
On questions he and the family still have
“We really want to know if we can determine who that anonymous caller was, obviously. But more so, we want to know why the officers took such an aggressive approach when it could have been handled in a much different way.”
On remaining questions about unreleased video footage
“Well, we certainly have questions about the body cameras, we have questions about the surveillance video, we have questions about the dash cameras, because all those things were supposed to be available and accessible to law enforcement, and we know they confiscated the surveillance video. So why hadn’t that been released to the public? We have two of the videos that are out there already, the general public and the world has seen most of what has happened, so why not show everything and let the world determine for themselves.”
(Note: The video of the Alton Sterling shooting, which is embedded below, contains images viewers may find disturbing)
Edmond Jordan, Democratic Louisiana state representative.
Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.